Hello everyone! 12/29/2018
My apologies for not having something on here for a while. Winter in the state of Maine and having another full time business can really slow things down.
Today's blog is about the dynamics of choosing a subject for a great photoshoot. In another business I am a partner with, I met a person that, I feel, would be very suitable for a specific shoot I have always wanted to do: Aviation.
I'm not talking about modern aviation, I'm talking about cloth wing clad, vintage, single pilot biplanes where the aviator wore a brown leather hood with the chin straps not hooked, round goggles resting on the forehead almost tight enough to make an impression in the cap and a white silken scarf around their neck that fluttered in the wind when the pilot took to the air.
This person, without makeup or any other radical change, dressed up in the aforementioned garb with a vintage aviator or bomber jacket would have been perfect for the shot. Her hair length, color as well as the shape of her face defined everything needed for the vintage aviator look.
Such is the imagination needed for specific shots. This does not mean what I saw is the ideal person for that shot. As with any photo artist, the ideal person for any specific shot is what they believe the setting should look like. There are rules though, unless there is a specific message trying to be conveyed. For instance, you would never place a bride, decked out in a fine, white linen gown with a 10 foot train next to a dump truck in a gravel pit. The subject needs to fit the setting.
If you find yourself interested in a specific photo genre, the best place to get inspiration from (for me) is in magazines that deal specifically with what you are looking for. In my case, it would be Vintage Plane Magazine.
The same thing goes when you are the customer. For the most part, the customer knows what they want and in a majority of the cases the photo shoot is for something specific such as a wedding, birthday party, senior pictures, company banquet etc. There are times when the customer leaves it up to the photographer to determine a "good" setting. The photographer, for the most part, will inquire as to possible interests the customer has that can be turned readily into a photoshoot setting.
**Make sure, when you agree to something, you can actually provide what you suggest. You can easily tarnish your reputaion by getting your customer's hopes up and then not providing.
The best photos I've taken were hobbies or leisure time activities. If a customer is into horse back riding, it's best to find a suitable location for the shoot. Generally, if the customer goes horse back riding frequently, they will either have their own stable or a stable where they pay for boarding or renting. If this is not the case, it may be up to you to find a stable that would be willing to work with you and your photoshoot. Just keep in mind it may cost extra for the stable's services which is passed on to the customer. Make sure they know what the cost will be before engaging into the shoot.
Don't do anything out of your comfort zone!
In a world where adrenaline games are starting to take off, the market for that kind of photography is growing in leaps and bounds. I must warn you though, if you don't feel comfortable with the shoot, DON'T DO IT! People pay dearly for adrenaline fueled sports and activities and if there is even a slight doubt that you can not do it, don't.
If you want to get into something like that, do the activity yourself over and over. After you've done the activity to the point where you feel comfortable, take a camera and a friend or friends with you to practice. Keep practicing until you feel your shots are nothing short of perfect. Adrenaline fueled activities take much concentration to perform, even more concentration is required doing the activity while holding a camera.
Scene setting takes patience and imagination. Do not limit yourself to what you think you want. Explore, look though periodicals, go to photography websites to see what is trending, emulate it, but make it your style. A well rounded, imaginative photographer is the corner stone of any photography business or hobby.