But as I got to looking through different questions that some wonderful blog readers have sent me, I decided to post the following images. You will notice as you look at them that they are very very similar.
Here are a couple of questions that go along with them :)
How many photos do you take during a session?
This is such a hard question for me to answer. It really varies a lot depending on the type of session and the clients themselves. I shoot A LOT. In fact, I often overshoot. My clients do not see all of the images I shoot simply because I weed through them afterward. I often have two shots that are almost identical, or a random shot that is out of focus (hey, it happens!). I would rather shoot a lot and catch that one genuine look. The thing that I try for is the natural expressions... the ACTUAL looks that any given client has. I want to really get my client's personality during my shoots, rather than just a smile, or a kiss, or a "serious look". I want THEIR personality and expression to show. Sometimes I have to shoot a lot to get just that shot. You will notice when you look at the series of photos of Courtney that I caught a LOT of expressions and genuineness that day.
How do you make your photos look so sharp, and make it blurry in the background?
This series of photos was taken by a street. I kid you not, there were cars driving by and honking as we were taking these! We had been shooting in a statue garden that was surrounded by a wall, and the sun had gone down behind the wall. I wanted to get some great close up shots of her, and I wanted pretty light. So we went to the light. And that happened to be next to a street. I did not want the cars and the street in the background. I shot all of these with my 85mm 1.8. I kept the aperture at 1.8 for the whole series. That kept Courtney nice and in focus, and kept the street unnoticeable! I love my prime lenses and shoot everything with them! Seriously everything. I love being able to use a low aperture and keep the subject the focus!
Do you direct your client? Or do they just do the posing on their own?
I do pose my clients to some extent. I give them direction (and even show them what I want them to do!), but then I tell them that they don't have to stay EXACTLY like I put them... that I want them to add their own flair and personality and make it their own. And interact! I don't want just a straight smile. If it's a couple, I encourage them to interact with each other... tell each other jokes. My clients know each other best, so they know how to be natural. If it is an individual, like with Courtney, I interact with them. I tell jokes, or stories, or just chat. I get the occasional talking photo (mouth wide open, eyes half closed), but mostly what I get is honesty, genuine personality.
How do you get clients to be themselves?
By being myself. Really, that's the best thing I can say. I interact with them... I build a friendship with them, I allow them to be goofy and silly and normal, because that's what I am. Clients take a cue from you. They will behave how you allow them to behave.
Here are the shots of Courtney. I love them. I love the series, and I love that they totally show her and her personality. I hope you enjoy them as well :)