Professional Photography for Clients – Part 2
Have you ever thought about booking a professional photo shoot only to find yourself talking your way out of actually committing to one? Or have you ever gone ahead and booked one, to then find yourself cancelling at the last possible moment? You are not alone!! This is the crummy part of the job sometimes I will admit – but with a little help, I will have you feeling confident and even excited about your next shoot! YES you read that right…EXCITED!! Photos are a beautiful keepsake and while just the very thought of being infront of the lens has you shaking in your boots, I am going to show you everything you need to know to have the confidence to rock your shoot!
There are many aspects of being a photographer that are mysterious to the general public and while everyone handles things like pricing, locations, posing, timing available and wardrobe suggestions differently, I will aim to shed some light for you in the hopes that you will not only feel more confident about your shoot, but you will also be able to choose the right photographer for you.
I am not the photographer for everyone – and truth be told….no one is. Beware of anyone who says that they can do it all. You’ve undoubtably heard of the term “Jack of all trades, master of none” and that couldn’t be more true of photographers. There are certain aspects of photography that scare the crap out of me. Case in point – Weddings and newborns. I am a portrait photographer but I will not photograph newborns or wedding portraits. Not all portrait artists are created equal. Photography is an art and what appeals to my eye, may not appeal to yours. Take the time to investigate local photographers and look on their websites to see if they are consistent in the work they produce – meaning do they shoot consisitently and edit the images similarily every time? If not, this is something to be concerned about. It means that potentially they may not be able to reproduce the kind of image that you were drawn to them for in the first place. Remember that art is subjective – just because you don’t like that photographer’s style does not mean they are a bad photographer. Much like tastes in music…
The single biggest comment I hear from potential clients is “but I’m not a model – I can’t pose like that – I have no idea what I’m doing – I feel and look so awkward in my pictures.” These are all valid concerns but completely un-necessary with the right photographer. Posing is a very complicated subject and many photographers spend many hours studying and practicing in order to get really good at it. I personally prefer the more natural look when I am photographing children and families. When I’m doing glamour photography, that’s when there is more posing going on. With families and children, you can always tell when the poses are staged and the smiles are forced. Again, these aren’t really bad things if you are ok with that look. I personally prefer the natural smiles and it’s totally OK if the smile isn’t there. Sometimes the deep in thought, or serene look is perfect and capures the essence of the person being photographed. Glamour on the other hand is all about the Vogue magazine cover shot. Let’s face it though, the average mom, teacher, businessperson etc. are not models and have no idea how to pull off that look. That’s where a glamour photographer comes into play. You will receive lots of direction in these types of shoots and the reputation of the photographer is really on the line here so as a client you need to trust that they know what they are doing and know that they are doing everything they can to make you absolutely fall in love with the end result. If you are really uncertain about your posing, looking to your photographer for guidance will help put you at ease and most of us really like helping to direct our clients. I love awkward clients personally – they are my favorite!! I love the look on their face when I’ve captured THAT shot that they can’t seem to peel their eyes off of. For me – there is no greater satisfaction than to take someone who doesn’t see thier own natural beauty and be completely WOW’d by thier end result!
The second largest concern going into a photo shoot is “What the heck do I/we wear?” As a phototgrapher, so much planning goes into your shoot. Generally you will have a consultation. This goes beyond the first couple of questions of when and where. My job is to find out what it is you want as your end result. Are you looking for photos you want to use a Christmas cards for family and friends or are you looking for a canvas wrap to hang on your mantle? Until we have a clear and defined goal for the shoot, there are many things to consider. If for instance, you are wanting to purchase a large canvas wrap to hang on your wall, I would then ask you to have a look at your decor in your home. Is it contemporary or more modern – what is your colour scheme? Then we can look at the wardrobe for your family. My biggest suggestion would be too dress to match the sofa. You’re laughing now aren’t you? The first time I came across that point I laughed too. But it makes sense. If you have solid colours and clean lines, it wouldn’t make much sense to show up to your shoot with plaids or floral prints would it? Again, these are all things that a photographer should be able to help you out with. There are some hugely valuable tools available to us as well… Like these What to Wear board from Inspire me Baby
Timing of the Shoot De-Mystified
Not many people give much thought to this subject but it really is a vital one for a photographer – especially one who shoots in natural light. Harsh shadows created by shooting in direct sunlight is generally not a flatterng look for anyone – super models included. This is why when you book your natural light or outdoor studio session, you will likely find yourself there in the early morning hours (sometime around 9-10am) or late evening (3-4pm in winter months). These hours offer the greatest diversity for us photographers. If you like the look of a silhouetted photo or one where there appears to be a slight halo of light around you, these are the perfect hours to achieve these results. Again, have that coversation with your photographer. If you are not an early morning person, don’t fret – sunset hour is called the golden hour for a reason.
Hopefully that has helped answer some of the most commonly asked questions and ones that you no doubt have if you are interested in booking a professional photo shoot. In part 3 of this series, I will blow the doors off pricing for you and answer why photographers charge what they do. If you missed Part 1 in this series Why Families should have Professional Photos Taken you can find it here: https://tesorosphotography.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/professional-photography-for-clients-part-1/
Jackie ~ Tesoros Photography