Saturday, October 3, 2009
What's the point?
I believe that photography needs to have a point. When you pick up your camera and point it at something, do you stop and ask yourself “what am I trying to say with this image?”
The best images start in the photographers mind. You may “see” the finished image outright, or you may just have a general idea of the theme of what you want to create: either way is fine. Then all of the realities come into play…where can I shoot this, with whom, what stuff will I need, when can I do it? All of this planning happens way before you actually click the shutter. Then comes all the technical planning: lighting, lens choice, exposure, etc. What time of day will the sun be where I want it? (Usually in the early morning or late afternoon-the two most inconvenient times to shoot for most working peeps!) Should I expose the shot differently based on how I want to post process it?
Then there is the shoot itself. By that time the technical stuff needs to be second nature—your camera should be an extension of you. This is the time for you to interact with your subject. You set the tone of the shoot. If you are unsure or frustrated or fumbling around with your camera, it will show in the final images (and not in a good way!)
Now don’t get me wrong, working with a great model is key! Some subjects simply don’t get it and they just stare at the camera with that “deer in headlights” look. Others are just nervous or uptight. But the good ones are fun to work with, self-reliant, and independently creative artists. They not only “get” what you’re looking for, but even better, they take it one step further and try out other looks that you didn’t even think of. Working with a great model is a creative collaboration for sure. You can both be free to try out new ideas with the same goal…making that awesome image!
So, what are you trying to say with your camera?
[Justine, above, is a great model. Click on the pics for the technical details of the shots and to see more from the series!]