This past weekend I feel incredibly proud to have been invited to take part in the Sony Kando event.
On the Saturday I gave a presentation via the TetherTools booth about my 39-45 Portraits Project but focusing on kit, challenges I have had to overcome and how I deal with people on a case by case basis depending on their needs.
On Sunday I joined photographers Chris Orwig (who has been instrumental in my growth as a Photographer) and Lauren Caris for an hour long panel discussing Creativity which was hosted by Matt Hensler from TetherTools.
At one point during the discussion we started to talk about what we do to ensure the best possible results during a photo shoot and this sparked such a great conversation. My response was to talk about slowing down and how this has helped me more than ever during the past 2 years or so.
What I mean by slowing down isn’t necessarily about taking the pictures slowly but actually slowing the whole process down and taking the time to talk with the person you’re photographing before photography even comes into play.
I know it’s not possible on some shoots because of time constraints but if I just talk about my own photography, slowing down and spending more time talking and getting to know the person I’m photographing than actually photographing them has turned my results on their head.
I can easily spend 30 minutes or so talking with someone before taking their portrait is even thought of. Taking the time to talk and become relaxed with each other and get to know each other makes such a difference when taking a portrait.
Chris gave such a great analogy of this and compared it to inviting someone for dinner…
When they arrive at your home you don’t hustle them in, sit them down and place the food in front of them and say “Eat!” and then once finished hustle them out.
It sounds crazy but it’s the same. Why would we do this at a photo shoot?
Photography is so much more than taking the picture; it’s everything before, during and after.
Portrait Photography isn’t about lighting patterns and composition, it’s about the person and capturing ‘them’ rather than some contrived pose or expression.
As a Portrait Photographer there’s nothing better than hearing the words “That is so them!” and so knowing the photograph, that split second when the camera’s sensor was revealed, has captured both the person’s soul and character.