Just hung out with my friend Alan Brusky of Fireleaf Design at the studio. He had asked me if I would help make an image of his sister in law, Katie while she was visiting here in Tampa. I figured this could be pretty cool, and to help a friend.. double bonus!
One of the things that got me excited about this was that Katie had never been into a “photo shoot” before. This would mean that this gives me the option to be able to practice something I love with someone who has had no experience being “talked to” by a photographer. I believe that every photographer out there has a bedside manner. Depending on how that bedside manner is – you’ll survive or fail a portrait session. We’ll talk about that one another time. So.. this would be her first time modeling.. with a stranger. Neat!
So, why am I writing this post? Well its about time, you see. Above you see the very first shot that I made with Katie. To the right – its the very last. When i work with a person in front of a camera I am very quick to explain to them that in order to get a picture thats wonderful, time is involved.
When you tell someone “I suck in front of a camera” – you are usually basing it on a very limited amount of times having your picture taken. Think of it like this: Think Thanksgiving – how many pictures could you have of yourself. Now add Easter.. prob not that many more. July 4.. couple here or there. So, in a smattering of pictures- lets say you get to 100.. you find that most suck, and you take horrible pictures.
Now, compare this to a model. A model can go into a shoot and take several hundred pictures. Do you know how many will be “The One?” Prob a handful – if that. As you get better as a model (and as a Photographer) those numbers get better.. but it takes time to do this.
Now, where Time comes into play. When you start working with someone, it takes time for that person to get used to you. It gets time for that person to find their footing in what they are doing. It takes time for them to figure out what you mean when you say “turn this way”. It takes time for them to relax every time you hit the shutter. However – if your Bedside manner is right.. and you know your gear.. the trust level increases, the person warms up.. and you get to make some good shots.
The next time you shoot with someone, go through the list of images – from start to finish. It’s as if there was a flipbook of comfort in front of you. The best shots more than likely are towards the tail end.
So.. make sure you convey this. Make sure you convey that this is something that will take a little time. When you show the result.. they’ll know it was a great trip.