Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to talk to your photographer

Have you ever wondered how to get the most out of your photo shoots? I have; both as the client and as the photographer. So I started thinking about all the elements that go into getting the most out of a photo shoot. Now I don’t pretend to be an expert on this subject these are just my personal thoughts on the subject that I have decided to turn into a series of posts to share with all of you. 
First on my list is How To Talk To Your Photographer. We all know that communication is the key to all successful relationships and that is absolutely true for a photo shoot. Good communication between client(s) and photographer is perhaps the most important element to getting the most out of your photo shoot. So how do you talk to your photographer?
1. First and most importantly choose a photographer who has shoot pictures that you like; whether you know a friend has used them, you’ve used them in the past, or you’ve just stumbled across their photos on the web choosing a photographer you like their pictures sets a good stage for positive communication between you and your photographer. If you like the photographer’s pictures then for your photo shoot you won’t be asking them to change their photographic style to meet your expectations, and as a photographer we appreciate that. I personally am always willing to try new styles, angles and ideas during a photo shoot because I learn a lot that way and I love the challenge but not all photographers may feel the same.

2. Be honest about your expectations before your scheduled photo shoot. Let your photographer know what you are hoping to do during your photo shoot. If you want to use props let your photographer know, if you want to have outfit changes let your photographer know, if you want to use multiple locations let your photographer know. This way your photographer can be prepared for the photo shoot and during the photo session things can go smoothly. Your photographer will appreciate knowing ahead of time what to expect and your pictures will benefit from it.
3. Do a little research so you can be specific about what you want your pictures to look like. It will help your photographer be in the proper frame of mind and better able to give you the photographic experience that you want if you have a clear idea of the type of pictures you would like to take. I’m not saying that you have to do all the work here, otherwise what would you need a photographer for? Even those who don’t think they know what type of pictures they want do have some idea/ preconceived notion of what they want. You have seen pictures that you have liked before whether it was something you saw online, in a friend or family member’s house, your own personal style, etc. So let your photographer know it can be helpful to have examples you would like to try and emulate.
For example:
 Do you like playful photos vs. more posed images?

Do you like close ups vs. farther away shots?
Do you like family pictures where your family is bunched close together or spread out across the scene?

Do you like straight on shots vs. shot from above or below?

4. Talk to your photographer about how you are planning on using the photos taken during the shoot. Will you be using them to display in your home? Will you be using them on Christmas cards or some other announcement? Are you taking headshots for an acting agency or modeling agency or dance academy? The answers to these questions will change the way your photographer thinks about your photo shoot and as a result will shape the questions they ask and directions they give during your photo shoot.

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