VALUE with a Capital V…
Only one of these people pictured is a working model. She hasn’t been doing it long and she is learning every day to become confident and happy infront of a camera. I would go further to say that it is the Photographer she needs to be comfortable with. On a shoot there can be loads of people hanging around- their JOB is to be concerned with how you look and that can be incredibly daunting… even when it is your occupation.
Aside from getting correct exposure, nice composition and all that other stuff, you just don’t get a good picture if your subject is uncomfortable. I’ve watched enough Next Top Model to know that when the model isn’t feeling it that really translates in the picture and nobody cares to invest any time in an uncomfortable model.
But what if it isn’t your job? What if you are just a mere mortal? A while ago, when I was redoing my website I realized that a contact page was key to showing clients what I was about. Every entrepreneur will tell you that a good profile picture is absolutely essential to a dynamic contact page and that if you want to make an impression it is just as important as what you say in the text. People will make a judgement about whether they want to work with you or not based on the conclusions they draw from your image and personal statement. Like it or not, if you want a successful web presence a good photo is a must and it is certainly worth investing in. A professional image says more than how you look, it conveys how much you VALUE your web presence. It is the same as dressing smartly for a job interview, so how much are you willing to invest in your first impression?
One thing people say to me is that I only shoot beautiful people. And they would be right, but not for the reasons you might think. People may think I only shoot beautiful people but I would argue that all people are beautiful and I can see that in everybody. Technically anyone can learn to use a camera and the barriers to this industry are getting lower by the day, the real skill is the one the individual brings to the table, which is to say the personality you bring to each encounter. If I have got a beautiful image of a person who is not a professional model it’s direct evidence of how comfortable they felt in my company. And that is the real skill.
I take on portrait sessions throughout the year, up and down the country, they range from basic to more creative concepts. To book yours please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an info pack.
When I first started out, photography was purely a hobby. I never dreamed anyone would ever pay me to do it, much less that I would have anything in print or that anyone would trust me to capture their special memories. I still have that sense of self doubt that people will still think I am winging it. Photography, at every turbulent stage of the last few years has been the one constant thing and I have worked incredibly hard to forge a path forward. A lot of people never really saw the work I put in to transition from keen enthusiast to someone who calls this a profession but believe me, It was FULL ON. You never really stop learning, however and since then I have had work feature in prominent publications, worked with major high street brands, got to travel and meet some amazing people, produced a few really fun workshops and even appeared on TV to talk about my work. Not bad for someone who started out with a kit lens and no idea how to use editing software!
It is really tempting to feel that, if you are not moving forward in some way that you are failing and I read enough Photography blogs to know that I am not alone in this. I sometimes see people I consider my peers accepting amazing jobs and travelling to fantastic places and suddenly everything I have achieved seems like poop. I don’t think this is purely related to my career either, I see it all the time. And the crazy thing is it’s not like I don’t have any opportunities of my own! So why do we let other people diminish our achievements?
Sometimes, we need to look back to see how far we have come. I am so bad at this, I admit it. I am guilty of living in the present to the point where I take every minor setback so personally and sometimes allow them to affect me so acutely that it is as if the past has been erased entirely.
When I first started out, I used to say yes to every opportunity that would allow me to use a camera. I shot t shirts for a catalogue for God’s sake! Where is the creativity in that!!? I’ve learnt from that though- slowly my clients have begun to reflect my skillset. This coming year I want to push that further and have the confidence to only accept the work I truly want.
What? wait, accept SOME work? You mean, turn work down????
I do. I have come to realise that in order to maintain the trajectory you must say no sometimes. To build the body of work that truly reflects you you almost have to forget about the money and say “screw this, this is doing nothing for me creatively”. I feel that this will allow me to invest more creatively in my clients and ultimately do a better job all round.
I need to remember that standing still is nothing more than creating a great moment to look back on and really is all just a part of moving forward.
I’ve not done a “beauty/lifestyle” post in so long here! I think it has something to do with the fact that I was going though a bit of a change in products and for a while my skin was feeling the effects. I also have been suffering from a nasty bout of conjunctivitis and so, obviously was not putting a huge amount on my face at all. Conjunctivitis is perhaps the most inconvenient thing for a Photographer to suffer from; for one, it affects your eyes, which goes without saying is hugely inconvenient. It also has the additional side effect of making you look DISGUSTING. In an industry where how you look and behave have a defining influence in whether people want to work with you or not, trust me. It is not a good thing to turn up with red, sore, weeping eyes which leak great gobs of white matter at will. It’s disgusting. Continue reading “Late Nights/ Early Starts.”