I know some people will read the title and they will wonder how that applies to me. Well, even a lump of coal has the potential to be a diamond one day. So, although I may not have been doing portrait and wedding photography for very long, there are a few things I have learned along the way.
I have learned words like “F-stop”, “depth of field” and “ISO”, and I understand how they affect my photos. I have also learned not to use these words unless talking to another photographer, and sometimes, not even then. People’s eyes tend to glaze over and a far-away look comes across their faces. And rightfully so! They don’t need to know how I am going to take their photos, just that it will look good, much in the same way that I don’t need to understand how the engine in my truck works, just that it will get me from here to there and back again.
Posing does not come naturally, except for my cat! Take a look back at all your school photos and you will see what I mean. When people are concentrating on keeping their back straight and worrying about how to hold their head and wondering where they should be looking, it quite often comes off looking awkward and unnatural. Because of this, it is important to take the shot after “the photo” when they relax. That one is often the keeper.
Be personable but not personal. Remember that you are in their lives for a brief moment of time to capture memories for them, not be part of them. You don’t want your client feeling like you are intruding.
Take a look at the surroundings as you aim your camera. You don’t want to take a photo of a beautiful girl in her prom dress doing her best “Captain Morgan” pose only to discover in post that there is a guide wire running through the background that crosses through her throat and out the back of her head. (I was able to air brush it out!)
Answer each question like you have answered it a billion times, even though you are making it up as you go. Soon enough you WILL have answered it a million times and you will have the experience to know you were right!
Above all else, be confident and look it! Confidence breeds confidence.
So keep pushing that button and keep enjoying what you are doing.