We’ve all seen countless portraits or headshots where the subject is obviously uncomfortable. They’ve got a disconnected look in their eyes, or they are just not present, or they are trying too hard not to try too hard. What went wrong? Just as a film director would speak with an actor on set, we are responsible for the performance of our subject. We must maintain awareness of how our clients feel if we want to direct them to be more present.
I recently picked up a new set of V-Flats for the studio from the aptly named V-Flat World. V-Flats, a studio staple, are typically comprised of a pair of two 4x8 sheets of foam core—black on one side, white on the other—taped together along their long end to create a book-style configuration of panels that can be opened (hence the V in V-Flat) or closed.
We've all seen that one pose from wedding photography: the typical bride and groom looking at each other with some natural or architectural backdrop. There’s nothing wrong with that photograph—honestly, it is usually super popular with the couple themselves—but it gets kinda boring for you and your clients. Show off your abilities as a photographer and get the best shots possible—here are some options for how to offer something more, something different to your customers, switching it up.
One thing that separates me from the other photographers in my area is the client experience I offer. We go places, plan setups, and use creative and exotic outfits and secret locations. We shoot with cars, horses, pets, guitars, guns, buildings, bridges and friends. But when we sit down with Mom and Dad to order, you know what they buy? Close-ups. The ones that show all of that beauty, the expressions, the smile they invested so much in, the sparkle, uniqueness and joy. This month, I show you how I incorporate close-ups with every outfit and location I shoot.
Is your senior portrait client too cool for school? Or maybe too shy to give a single smile for the camera? Seniors come in every variety, and photographing them brings a variety of challenges. Even if your senior portrait subject is confident and cooperative, she probably isn’t a professional model. She needs your posing expertise. Let’s talk about a few of my go-to posing prompts to make your senior sessions more authentic and fun.
Whether you’re like me and try to stay within a niche or you’re a photographer who dabbles across the world, staying true to your brand can be difficult when you cross genres. Whether you’re shooting portraits, weddings, headshots, products or seniors, here are some ways to keep consistency throughout your photos.
Your client has just arrived 30 minutes early for her baby’s newborn session and you are nowhere near finished setting up. After hastily greeting them at the door, you scramble, trying to think of where in the world to start. Does this sound familiar? The good news is that you can help prevent these problems by implementing some simple techniques to streamline your newborn sessions. Layering materials, rotating through stations and transitional posing all contribute to a smoother studio workflow.
When we enter a session, we are not only taking pictures, we are creating memories that last a lifetime. Our clients will remember the variety of feelings they experienced while in our care. We need to make it a pleasurable one so they sing our praises to their friends and family. Good reviews travel fast, but bad reviews travel faster.
I don't want to just be a portrait photographer who happens to be at a wedding. I want to be a storyteller who captures the essence of people to tell the story of who they are in this time of their lives in an emotionally impactful way. Only recently have I evolved my approach from just finding the perfect light and artistic, beautiful compositions; now I find or create environments where authentic moments can take place. Through research and practice, I have developed a handful of methods to achieve emotional impact in my work.
I love wedding photography. It is my passion. Every week, every month, every year, there are new couples getting married who want us to document their big day. In the United States, there are over 2 million weddings a year. There’s no shortage of opportunities for you to get started in or expand your wedding business. The real question is, how do you up your game and charge a premium for your services? How do you and your studio stand out from the never-ending barrage of competitors in your market?