Beni and Linda, Trash the Dress. So as I sat wondering what to write about this shoot, it dawned on me that Beni and Linda’s Trash the Dress was actually the perfect illustration of how to explain a few things when it comes to photographing people. Use the tips I give you here (every time you pick up your camera) and you’ll be photographing people infinitely better very quickly indeed. Here’s goes then…
- Don’t worry about what other people think, shoot for yourself first. Guess what? I don’t cry myself to sleep at night if someone goes: ‘oh noooo, I don’t like that photo Warren took!’ Rejection happens. It’s part of life. So I shoot for myself first and foremost. If I like what I’m seeing, the chances are my clients will too. That doesn’t mean I simply point the camera and hit the shutter button. I have a rough plan of where and how I’m going to take the photos, but I also leave space for spontaneity. Once the shoot starts, I simply live the moment and have as much fun as the people I’m photographing.
- Tell a story. Now, the only way you’re going to be able to tell a story is to allow the people you’re photographing to be themselves. Oh sure, you can do a whole lot of pre-planned poses, but isn’t the whole point of photographing people all about capturing their unique personalities? Your clients aren’t beer bottles, they’re people! Let them be who they are – they’ll write the story, you capture it.
- Go forth into the world with courage. I had this English Tut teacher back in the day. He called me aside once and said: ‘Warren, to fear is to fail.’ I’ve never forgotten that. So be brave, be courageous and take chances. A large part of people photography is all about the power of persuasion. So persuade – then go for those big, bold shots.
- Don’t over-analyse. You are never, ever, ever going to get every single photo spot on. Never. So don’t over-analyse whatever it is you want to do. Give your subjects the freedom to be themselves and then go with it. I hardly ever analyse anything to be quite honest. I give everything a bash. If it feels like it’s not working, then it probably isn’t and I move on. Just be honest with yourself, but don’t slit your wrists over it.
- Get an emotional reaction. Beni and Linda’s photos are a great example of pics that elicit an emotion. The photos tell stories and they ask for a response from the viewer. You’re either going to go ‘wow,’ (or not), or laugh, or wonder what was being said etc. etc. One way to get an emotional response is to TALK to your subjects. Any people photographer who doesn’t talk and chat and communicate with his or her subjects should be put down at dawn. So here’s one of my biggest secrets to photographing people ever – I don’t shoot with my camera, I shoot with my mouth. That’s probably the single best piece of advice medicament d exception cymbalta I’ll ever give you when it comes to photographing people.
- Don’t copy, create your own amazingness. I can’t tell you the number of times over the years that I’ve seen photographers trying to knock off my style. They aren’t going to get it right – not ever. That’s because the way I communicate with my people and how I go about my shoots is 100% unique to me. Nobody is Warren. Nobody can get out of my guys what I can get out of them. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. But that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. So always remember – copying is horrible and there’s no point to it whatsoever. So decide to go your own route and blaze your own trail – it’s in you, you just have to find it and go with it.
- Slowly as it goes. In my early days photographing people I’d probably get 1 in 8 or so photos right. These days it’s about 1 in 2. Take it easy on yourself. Don’t expect too much. Just go and have fun and spend time behind the camera. Practice will get you there. More than anything, you need to put in the hours photographing real, live, walking, talking, burping, farting people.
- Spend time creating some of your own Lightroom or Photoshop presets and actions. This is actually really important. Once you know what you have in your editing bag of tricks you’ll learn to start exposing a little differently and looking for a variety of locations and landscapes that your post-processing techniques will compliment no end. Very often, before I even fire off that first shot I know exactly how I’m going to process it afterwards.
- People photography is all about being true to yourself. It isn’t about making indecent amounts of loot, getting famous and travelling the social circuit. It’s about hard graft, commitment and being passionate about what you’re doing every single day. Oh, and it isn’t about how many ‘likes’ you get on social media either. If you let ‘likes’ rule you, you’re taking photos for the wrong reasons and you need therapy – fast.
Now finally, let’s talk about Beni and Linda. When you take all of the above into consideration, these two mad hatters just let me go about the knitting. We had a terrific rapport. I had ideas, they had ideas, and we let nothing get in our way. The end result is a photoshoot that I’m tremendously happy with, I know they’re happy with it, and it should defs make you laugh, or cry, or shake your head, or whatever. I hope you enjoy looking at some of these crazy photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.