There is a slight chill in the room as I crank up the heater a couple notches. The sun peaks through the clouds as I pull the shade to kill the ambient natural light. The models are behind me feverishly changing into their outfits; while I make one final adjustment to the strobes before our first shot of the day. The models are new and fresh and haven't had a lot of experience. These are the moments I live for. I can see the nervousness beaming in their eyes; like a cat peering out at you waiting for you to make the next move.
As humans its natural for us to mimic the emotions of those around us; but as a professional I have learned when its time to be a chameleon and when its time to be the one setting the tone. Standing up from my stool I take a deep breath of confidence and begin rolling back the shades of self consciousness to reveal beauty and professionalism in the models.
The key to any great photograph is the subject that your camera is pointed at. When working with new models direction is key. As much as we would like to think we work with professional models all the time; the truth is that 90% of the models you will work with in a small market, like Denver, are new and have very little modeling experience. This is where the photographer you hire makes all the difference.
I decided to talk about the importance of direction from your photographer as I continue to hear a common theme from all my clients. They always complement me on how involved I am in the shoot; all of the minor tweaks I make in the models movements and poses and especially the fact that I always have a professional hairstylist on set; ALWAYS. (check her out here www.facebook.com/mallory.lynn.73).
With camera technology getting better and better each day it becomes increasingly important who is behind the camera. We can all take great exposures now a days; but not everyone can put and interesting subject in front of their camera. If you compare the work of your favorite hobbyist and your favorite professional you may not be able to pick out exactly what makes the professional's image stand out; you may not understand why and may think its the camera or photoshop. But the difference is actually something entirely different; the professional has a list a mile long they run through in their heads before clicking the shutter button. This list is what makes all the difference in the world not the camera.
It could be as simple as asking the model to bring their forehead slightly forward to create a crisp jaw line; or creating space between the body and arms. I could go on and on about all of the things that run through my head when working with a model or a client. This direction is the key to a successful image and taking it from a backyard photo with Uncle Fred to the cover image for Vogue. The camera only counts for 10% of the image the other 90% comes from the artistic direction of the photographer and his/her team.
So now image you hire a photographer to shoot your salon or barbershop. There is a good chance you and your staff have never modeled a day in your life and in fact you may hate having your picture taken. But when you hire a photographer who can successfully direct you in a way that makes you beam confidence & approachability, you will love the photos and you should even gain a bit of confidence in yourself. And if you have read any of my other blogs you know how the these images will impact not only your current customer base but also your potential clients.
The important thing to take away is that there are hundreds if not thousands of photographers trying to become professionals everyday. So before you hire them ask them to take a sample photo of you. Not just show you an image from their portfolio; but see how they interact with you. Do they make you feel comfortable, can they guide you in a way that makes you look your best. If you can answer Yes to all of this then look further into their portfolio to see if their artistic style fits your needs.
If you are interested in learning some techniques the pros use so you can take social media photos like a pro? Email me here to schedule your one on one training session. Clint@LathamJrPhotography.com