October 06, 2011

Flattering is an F Word.

This week I did two sessions for headshots where the client had gone to someone else for photographs and was unhappy with the result so it made me think about why these clients came to me for new images. It's not the first time that I've been asked to create a photo for someone that had photos done before by someone else.

We all see ourselves in the mirror differently but we also have a view of how we want to be perceived.  We all have a personal brand even if it's not for business.  Think about describing yourself in one or two words. My two words for you might be different than your two words.

My view of you may be different than you see your self.  And while I might get all the technical aspects perfect and have a fair amount of creativity, you could be having an off day, you could be nervous, you could have some stress - and it all shows in your face. We all have micro expressions that slightly change with each click of the shutter. It's my job to minimize a flaw you don't like so it's something to go over before we click the shutter.  It's my job to make you comfortable to get those best looks on your face. It's my job to use the right lighting and posing so you look FABULOUS.

One quote I gave yesterday was for a company that did holdiay portraits for their employees and what stood out in our conversation was that the photographer did not look beyond taking the photographs.  He did not see a hair out of place or a crooked piece of jewelery on the subjects;   We have to look beyond just a face smiling when we take a photograph.  The subject may or may not need to smile, but, there are many elements to getting the perfect image beyond that.  We have to take the whole picture.

The woman who recently lost weight but had a sagging chin doesn't want that to show; Lighting and Posing are really important;  The beautiful woman who wants a glamour shot, doesn't want to see dark circles under her eyes so you must master lighting to hide that and have the right equipment to do it so she will be happy.  Twist a neck wrong in posing and you get some massive rolls on the neck even on the thinnest person.  A boudoir photograph to be perfect must have all the elements in place and must leave much to the imagination to work well.

It's a big deal to get dressed, get your hair perfect and your make up just right to come in for a session.  It's a big deal to me to flatter you so you love your photographs.  My years of knowledge of seeing you just right is something that makes me different.  I want to flatter my clients.  It was music to my ears yesterday when the subject I photographed proofed her images on line yesterday.She called in her co-workers to see what we had done and there was one "WOW" after another. I love to hear those WOW's and if I don't then I want to work with you so that they're all I hear - before we shoot.  Planning a portrait ahead is just as important as the after when we finish the image.

Just because you have a camera that will take good photograph doesn't mean it will convey the message you want delivered with your photo. The knowledge of how to use a camera is just as critical.  It must convey you and your brand and speak for you.  So today's F Word is Flatter.   Because you deserve a lot of flattery so that you are fabulous always.

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