Monday, January 28, 2013

Getting real with your subjects

When people come to me and ask me questions about my technique, and how I connect with people and how I am able to capture the realness of the moment, especially when it comes to children, I feel two things. First, I am always baffled! I'm kind of like, "You're talking to me?" while looking over my shoulder to see if I am on an episode of pranked.  And then, I am of course honored. Honored at the fact that other photographers see something special in my work that has them asking me questions.

So, everyone knows that there are a bunch of different styles, techniques, ways that you can shoot a photo.  For me, I choose to approach photography with a lifestyle feel.  You may have seen that word thrown around a lot, and for many it can have a different meaning.  To me, there is not one set meaning for it. But for me, lifestyle photography encompasses people in their natural setting.  Capturing them just being them.  Kind of sounds like a snippet from a bit of National Geographic, but seriously, that's what I am to shoot for.  While posed portraiture is amazing, for the right conditions. I love freezing the moments as they happen. And for that, that means getting real with your subjects.

Much of my inspiration comes from photographing my daughter Charlotte.  Who else could I get more real with than my own daughter? And I take my experiences from being with her, and apply it to families and children.  What type of images would mom love to see of her little ones?  What can be looked at 20 years from now and bring a smile to your face? That is my goal. And that means getting real, and getting close to your clients.

Focus on things that for some, they would pass up.  Children don't always need to be smiling at the camera, or looking directly at you. In fact, you don't even need to see their face in all of the images.  The moment itself, can speak volumes.

This is what I mean:

Don't be afraid to get close. Get on the floor if you have to. Sometimes, I set my focus and put the camera on the floor and hit the shutter button, I am not even looking through the view finder, that's what I did with the image of Charlotte standing on her toes.  Don't be afraid to shoot where there are imperfections. The bed doesn't have to be perfectly made, the toys don't have to be put away. Get CLOSE. GET REAL!

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