Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Just Be Yourself

The other day I was watching a video clip of a photographer at a shoot.  There is no question about the photographer's well earned good reputation.  The point was to see the person in action, how they worked. 

Since I have experience in training photographers, I was inspired to write this.
Of all the tips I could give budding as well as experienced photographers, this one to me has the most impact on their success.  Here it is.  Just Be Yourself.  That's it.  Once you get the basics of the craft, it's simply a matter of self confidence.

A fellow photographer friend once told me that within the first few seconds he spends with his subject, he already knows what he wants to accomplish.  As we worked together, I found this to be pretty much the case for me as well.  It then becomes a matter of confidently bringing this mental picture into fruition.
Be yourself.  The thought is in you, how do you bring it out?  Use your own words, your own personality, your own body language.
(Remember to be aware of the rules of society, customs, culture etc.)
The worst thing you can do to yourself is to imitate someone else.  The reason they may be successful is because they are confident in who they are, not the particular mannerism or vocabulary they use.
There are principles that work, but principles and techniques are not limited to one or two people.  Principles and techniques can be utilized by anyone with practice.

Photography is art and skill. There is certainly a science behind it also, but the art is all up to you.  You are the only you and singularly unique.

Never get discouraged when someone else gets the job or account.  The more you develop your own style, the more people and projects will come your way.

Within self confidence lies another ingredient.  It is called "authority."  It is this authority that appropriates the results you desire.  Self confidence allows your authority to communicate to the end that it may get received and acted upon.For example, a subject may seem dry or not very animated.  If I don't believe I can get a natural, relaxed look from him or her, I will have no "command."  But if I know what I want (knowing not to go beyond the basic possibilities of the particular subject), and am confident in my ability to get that shot, I will speak and communicate with authority (not volume).  The subject will naturally follow my direction and bring into view my desired results.If I lack assurance, this will be transferred to the subject and he or she will become unsure as well.  The result will be a photo that lacks the inner look and life of the subject.  We may see an outward smile only, but miss the life on the inside, the look in the eyes and the essence of the person within.

The photographer's relaxed nature will bring out relaxed nature.  An enthusiastic nature will bring out enthusiasm.  What you genuinely bring into the session will help you carve out your niche.  We attract and detract people every day.  By being confident in your own individual way, you will attract your own clientele.

Just be yourself.

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