Treat the photographer and their camera as an old friend.
It sounds strange but the psychology of photography starts with either a relaxed behavior or an amygdala hijack. The amygdala is a section of the brain that’s responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergencies. In the relaxed behavior, you can enjoy the experience, you forget about the camera and we get real expression. With the amygdala hyjack we get three expressions, the fighter (what are you angry about? I dunno, I don’t like the camera), flight ( I really don’t want to be here, I don’t look good in pictures) or freeze ( please let this be over, Ok time for a fake smile) and we talk you down from that ledge. It’s not you but the release of hormones that takes about 20-40 minutes for the feelings to dissipate and we guide you to success. If the lighting is set and you are comfortable, the session can take 20 minutes and we have 60 beautiful images. If you are hyjacked it will take longer but you will be directed and will do our best to bring out your identity. After all, Beauty is our Brand.
Venues, Background and Lighting
If the venue does not provide the opportunity for beautiful images, or the locations do not create the lighting in your vision. The images are already compromised without having special considerations. Be flexible in your time frame or be flexible in traditions. Great photos focus on the background, the last thing you want to see is a garbage bin, exit lights, and bathrooms in the background. It’s not just the person or object in your frame, it’s everything else in the background.
See the Light
Before you select your venue, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or an artificial source like a lamp; how can you use it to make your photos better? How the light interacts with the scene and does the light at the time of the venue cast harsh shadows or golden hues? These are all a few of the things make an ordinary photo vs an extraordinary photo. The magic hour lays out beautiful tones but it only lasts a short time.
Does your planning account for the best time of the morning or evening? Is there an option to fake this? Absolutely, if the photo shoot is properly pre-planned and the lighting conditions are right. Other options are also available but more technical. A heavily shaded area with filters and artificial lights or a pre-shoot not on the same day of the venue. The time of day, the lighting and intimate knowledge of the venue, and technology mastery is all part of the print.
We Ask Permission
When photographing people, especially family that is socially lubricated. it can get ugly and rough very quickly if you are not careful. So out of respect, identify and communicate who these people are, and expect not to get photos of them if they are unwilling. A photographer should always ask permission.
Flash use during the day
You might think that a photographer should only use flash at night time or indoors, but that’s not the case at all. If it is an extremely bright day outside and the sun is creating harsh shadows, we’ll switch on +our flash. By forcing extra light onto your subject, you will be able to fill in those ugly shadows and create an even exposure.
Having expensive camera equipment doesn’t mean that you’ll take good photos. What is required is the right technology, mastery of the technology and knowledge and communication capability to reveal some amazing work
Engage with your photographer
This means make eye-contact, engage and listen to their sometimes strange suggestions. A good photographer will lower that camera and be human and engage you as a person. Then the photographer will bring the camera up for a decisive shot. Being there with you in the moment is a sign of respect, it levels the playing field in terms of power dynamics, and you will get much more natural images this way.
I am text block. Your reaction and behavior needs to match how you want others to feel about you or how you want to remember that day. There is no logical reason to posses awkward feelings when a camera gets in close. When you hire us, we will do our best to subtract those negative feelings from you, that is part of our job. We will get beyond the flaws together. We will stand before you prepared and practiced with posing strategies, we’ll get in close and you will be our muse.
The closer you are to the subject, the better you can see their facial expressions too.