Friday, January 22, 2010

My First Time

The first time I stepped behind the camera to photograph complete strangers I was undeniably nervous. My hands were sweating, my newly re-paired heart was beating even faster than it's already quick rate, and I'm almost certain I talked too much. Luckily the couple, Billie & Eric, were easy going and very willing to do whatever I asked of them. The session was more than two hours long and I took more than 200 photos, but I walked a way with a new found confidence, and a feeling of finally knowing where I belong. I also learned a very important technique that I've used in every photography session and wedding since.

The first and most important job of a photographer is to make their subjects comfortable. It doesn't matter how perfectly composed and exposed your work is. If your subject is uncomfortable you'll see it in the photo and even worse they'll see it. As I started taking photos of Billie & Eric I realized that the more I interacted with them the less they thought about the camera and the more comfortable they became. So I told a few jokes, asked questions, and did whatever it took to take their attention away from the camera. I'd like to say that me almost tripping backwards over a railing was also an attempt to take their minds off the camera, but that was just me being a big clumsy dork.

It can be easy to lose yourself behind the camera, to get caught up in f-stops, ISO, meter readings, and shutter speeds. But my experience has been that my interaction with those in front of the camera is just as important as my interaction with the camera.


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing about your first experience shooting paying clients!..I really hope to be in that position in the (somewhat) near future! I found you from SITs and wanted to come check out your work.. very beautiful! I love how you used the red door with these shots.

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