I have re-written this post now about 5 times. Because I wanted to cover some topics I considered important.
It’s important because I want to explain to present and future clients what I do and why I do it.
On this attempt I will do it in question and answer style
TOPICS: My Style, Posing, Good Clients, Soap Box
(Above) In this picture can you see the personalities of some of the subjects? If so it was successful.
What is my style of photography? – “Documentive”
What do you document? People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.
Are you passive or an active participant in the moment? Yes
How would you describe your approach? The subject and feeling first… done in the Jarvie style. NOT the art of Jarvie with happenstance visitors and models.
What’s the best compliment? A friend or family member telling a client that the picture is “SO YOU (Them)”
What the client doesn’t get? Directed poses from your favorite modeling magazine. (If your purpose is to look past the person at a product then perhaps those are proper.)
How much do you pose? In the comparative world I apparently pose almost none (so I’m told)… But I feel like I take control of the pose a lot more than people perceive. (Create the situation)
Why do you think you pose people a lot? Because I put them into the proper locations, and facing the right directions and having put them into the right situations the scenes usually just create themselves.
What are 5 important things in the interaction between the shooter and the person being shot?
- That they like my work. (and therefore have trust.)
- That they know I have their back and will tell them when they’re doing something that will look like crap. (Again… Trust)
- That they don’t feel confined or limited in their personality or creativity.
- That I don’t feel limited in what I am able to do.
- They are able to act naturally around me.
Best way of posing? Take what someone does and enhance it. For example (above right) take how they sit and take it to the next level. Or make adjustments so nothing looks bad.
(Above Left) This was how they posed themselves. You can tell the little girl has a lot of character by the way she chose to stand. The best part is she did this herself with no coaxing from anyone.
One person’s fun and fancy pose is another person’s nightmare and stupidest thing ever.
Idea of a perfect client? Someone with lots of personality that feels ownership in being part of creating the perfect pictures.
Idea of a client you would rather not have? No passion for the result… but high expectations.
What you’d like to say to a client? This is a team process for us. I want you to want the best and work with me to create the best.
What you want to say to clients but won’t usually say? I want to tell them to be themselves… but I don’t, because there’s no need… they are already themselves and will act that way. I just need to put them in situations where they are comfortable and motivated to do so.
Would you rather (For a photoshoot) … Beautiful Appearance or Sparkling Personality? Sparkling Personality.
What you hate to hear during a shoot? Competent people being needy. (We both need to work together to strike doubt and worries from the photoshoot. So I claim part ownership in that problem)
What would help your clients prior to a photoshoot? To love my work and trust my abilities. That every shoot i do works out just fine so what is there to worry about?? When they can understand that they’ll just have fun and enjoy the moments and start focusing that energy with me towards the creative process.
Most common comment by grandmothers at weddings? You must really enjoy doing what you do… because you’re always smiling?
Funnest comment at weddings? You did such a great job (They haven’t seen a picture) I ask how do they know? “Because you handled yourself so well and made it enjoyable”
Do you like the very posed type of photography? Yes, I appreciate what those photographers and models do… but don’t feel the industry needs yet another photographer like that. I’ll try to stick with my strengths.
Who wouldn’t be the best candidates to shoot with me? Though I joke, it’s only a partial joke to say that: if you’re not comfortable with who you are then my style of bringing out who you are might not be your favorite. But on second glance we are often hard on ourselves and my objective is to bring out the BEST in others.
When does it call to break from this form? In some cases companies are trying to sell a product so they actually might want very little personality to show from models. This is understood.
See or create? I’m much more of a see the potential kind of dude. I don’t often go out with an specific idea in mind. (Although I appreciate that style) But based on lighting and the emotions and feelings I’ll look around and come up with the best scenario. I can bring out the best in any scenario I’ve learned to not wait for the most fortunate circumstances to take pictures.
(Above) I knew I was going to get on top of my car at some point in the shoot… when I saw the clouds and the lighting and understood the need for a couple more group shot options. When I saw how they interacted and the feeling of the group. This is when I decided to do a shoot like this. I didn’t have this shot in mind until about 1 minute before I pressed the button. (BTW I wouldn’t have minded if that cloud were a few dozen miles closer and bigger.)
A Motto? Don’t wait for the best situation make whatever situation you’re in the best you can.
What you want people to know about the photography industry?
- Anyone can take the best lighting, the best models, tons of time, great equipment and turn them into great pictures. But in our not-made up world with lower budgets and limited time. Learning to make the very best of any situation is true skill.
- Sometimes photographers can become well known for taking pictures at fancy, perfectly planned weddings or for taking portraits of beautiful superstars. This should neither be a reason for or against them. But be careful they rest on these things alone. (See what’s inside)
- Look for consistency. Just because there are 25 great pictures in their portfolio doesn’t mean your pictures are automatically going to look awesome.
- The experience is on par with the product. A misanthrope will tarnish your pictures forever with ugly memories.
- You don’t always get what you pay for… but you usually do. You need to be smart and informed. Look for a good return on the investment. Most expensive is not the best, neither is least.
Most encouraging comment from a potential client when on the phone (or email)? We loved your work, but it was the personality we see in your work and in your writing that really sealed the deal.
What do you preach from your soap box?
- Deception in Marketing = Bad and Sad!
- Photographers who show their work in chronological galleries ONLY
- Symbolism. This deserves a post unto itself. If it were a couple I would encourage and work with them to internalize their feelings for eachother and things that are special to eachother. To include into the theme of the pictures. Nothing so big that it takes away from them or takes away from good solid photography.
There is a point an attraction becomes so overwhelming it turns into a distraction.
What is your stance on editing? While I can make any picture many times better with a few quick edits. My editing is about bringing attention to what is most important. I stick with bright, clean and simple… If someone views a picture and fixates on a series of edits I have made the picture about my editing and forgotten that it is about “People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.” I can edit as much or as little as needed as long as it has an end and an objective.
Will you pose? Well yeah of course, I’m not opposed to it. I posed this one (Above)… but it’s not my favorite shot because it doesn’t really match the personality I got from this girl. But then again I didn’t tell her the facial expression to have, so there’s plenty of her in it. But mainly I’ll do things that will put them in the way of the best lighting.