Lately, I have had several opportunities to take family portraits of friends and friends of friends… In just a few sessions, I have developed a newfound respect for people who do this to make a living. It is hard work! These sessions were just casual family photo shoots done for a few friends and my stomach was in knots. I can’t imagine the pressure of being responsible for someone’s wedding photographs.
There is so much to consider with every shot. When I am shooting a sunset, or a wave careening into rocks, nature makes everything perfect. But, if I neglect to see that my subjects hands need to relax, that one is on me. In the case below, my focus was entirely on capturing the expression of her eyes and I missed noticing her hands.
The one below is the same pose, but somehow better because of the placement of her hands.
In the case of portrait photography, I have to be on top of these things in order to improve the photograph. I am learning that subjects not only need, but also expect direction. It takes a lot of confidence to take charge of the situation and I am not there yet. Getting people to relax, strike a casual, but flattering pose, and see every detail in the shot is either natural ability, or a learned skill and right now, I am short on both.
Add kiddos to the mix and look out!
I love the cute photo on the left, but baby peeking down her dress is not exactly the photo Mom wanted. The one on the right is okay, but had to be cropped because someone stepped into the frame. There are so many moving parts!!
I imagine getting used to all of this comes with experience, but wow, what a confidence buster it is to miss a shot because of something simple. Like, for instance, the 25mph speed limit sign between the couple below.
Portrait photography is a challenge that takes me out of my comfort zone. At times I feel awkward and uncomfortable, but I am learning and moving forward – it feels pretty good.
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