…It’s not just the talking we need to focus on in a shoot. It’s much, MUCH more!
There we are having a fun and collected conversation with our clients. Talking to and getting to know our clients is our very favorite part of the job! We love making people feel comfortable and beautiful in front of our lens. One of the best ways to do this is through natural, fun conversation. We never stop talking in a session because we know the minute we go silent with a camera to our face, our clients will start to wonder: “Is everything okay? Are we posing correctly?”. First off, you can almost bet you are! The silence just makes you question everything (we’ve been there ourselves when we get our family photos done)!
The key is we keep it light, and honestly my preschool teacher can attest that not talking is almost impossible for me; so really it’s like a match made in heaven for me. We love to make sure you (as a customer) know what’s going on.
But it’s not just the talking we need to focus on in a shoot. It’s much, MUCH more!
While we are chatting, having a good time, and occasionally pulling our our boomerang dance moves on a mountain top; so many things are running through our minds… Here are a few!
Light- This is probably number one on our list. When we arrive on location (sometimes a location we have never been to) we are first and foremost thinking about light. Where is the best place to start to avoid the harsh sunlight and the best place to end to get the glowy dreamy sunset light. If we are indoors, we are assessing window light, walls and ceilings to figure out the best type of off camera light to utilize and the best way to modify that light. We watch for reflections in the face and change those with a modifier if there are any strange colors coming out.
Settings- Once we get ourselves to the best starting location, we are setting our manual camera settings including our custom white balance. As the light warms up, we click our kelvin down so you don’t turn orange, and after the sun sets and the light cools again, we click it back up to keep you not looking like a smurf (so far customers seem to prefer that). It is very important to us that we keep these settings in check because this allows us to get as much right in camera as possible, so we can get photos back to you lightning quick. We even offer next morning wedding sneak peeks. Yeah, it’s that important! I will leave it at that and not get into aperture, but we also consider how we want the photo to feel, and that has to do with aperture.
Posing- We like our couples to look and feel as natural as possible! We prefer when the fun can come out and shine in genuine smiles. People do not feel genuine when they are slowly tweaked into a memorized pose and are forced to hold it while you click away. We try to make everything fluid and constantly adjust as we go. We don’t memorize poses, but we have a few key ways we will move the body and make adjustments as we go. It is important for our subjects to feel fantastic! I know I haven’t always loved having my photo taken, but great posing truly makes all the difference.
Flattering the Female Form: We understand that a woman’s shape is more flattered in curved patters (unless we shoot fashion, that is done in triangles). We watch for arms to be natural and bent at the right angle, lines to run all the way to the toes, and the right angle to accentuate all the right features. We may even circle clients like a vulture to find the most picture perfect angle. I also am always looking for raised shoulders. Everyone, I mean everyone raises their shoulders in a session which can make them look stressed. Often times this happens as a client gets more comfortable, so if you have ever been in a session with me, you have probably heard, “drop your shoulders” a few times. Am I right?
Details- I wasn’t sure what to call this, but we look for stray hairs, a wrinkled shirt, a crooked tie, a garbage can in the background, tree limbs coming out of people’s heads… All these things can be distracting in a photo and make editing more difficult later. We fix it all in the session.
Composition- There are certain things you can do to a photo to make it more impactful. A lot of this has to do with how you can compose it. We may choose to frame our clients in trees or use layers in front of them to look like we are peeking in on a moment. Almost everyone who knows anything about photography knows about the rule of thirds. Along with a few other tricks and training of the eye, we watch for a way to make a photo pop, a way to make it special. These little things take a photo from great to amazing! This is the bread and butter and something we are passionate about getting right in a session. We can also be found moving in and out and up and down to get a variety of angles. We also watch how we are cutting our clients in camera to keep it flattering.
While this is a basic rundown of what is happening, there may also be kinks. Our camera may have an error or our card may be getting full or the sun is setting quicker than we’d prefer. We don’t want to miss special moments, so we manage this. We may switch lenses to capture the details in a different way, and we do this all seamless so you may never notice it at all. We also always come with back up plans in case things really get dicy.
The long and short of all of this is that so much goes into great photography! Our minds run constatly thinking about this all simultaneously, all while cracking stellar jokes and connecting with our clients!