“Just be yourself.”
If you’ve had had portraits taken, you’ve no doubt heard your photographer tell you this. It’s sound advice, but only as a starting point. You just can’t tell someone to be themselves and start snapping away and hope for the best. You might get a shot or two, but to get several really good images, there needs to be a certain amount of direction. If you told me to be myself, I’d crack a beer and lay on the couch. I’m comfortable, but it’s probably not gonna make for a great photo. “Photojournalism” is all the rage among photographers right now. It works great in some situations. Take a wedding reception. It’s a great time for candid photojournalism-style images. Try it doing portraits at the altar of the church. Not so good, right?
The fact is, great portraits are made through directing your client and making them feel at ease with you so their personality can come through in the photos. It can be daunting at first. Where should the eyes look? Should I adjust their chin left or right? Hair behind the ear or in front? Good photos come from a hundred small decisions, and it is easy to become paralyzed and forget something. I wish there was an easy solution but it comes from studying portraits and trial and error. I learn something new in every portrait job and try to apply it to the next. Before long, you can’t imagine the number of details and adjustments you’ll make to capture the right shot.
So what’s the point of all of this? Well, Shelby is the point of all of this. We wanted to share the photos of this remarkable young woman – a Lackawanna Trail senior and field hockey player. We just love her photos. She was able to get in the groove and have fun with her photos. Add a little direction and you get some images we thing are pretty special. Thank you, Shelby.