Monday, August 25, 2014

How to behave during a portrait photo shooting?

How to behave during a portrait shooting to get most desirable results

Since I usually do not shoot with models, my clients and friends always ask me during a shooting: "Matthias, I don't know what I should do, I am not a model. What should I do?" 

Then they always hear the following answer: 

"Just be yourself. That's perfect! I don't like to shoot with models, because they "overpose" and do not look natural. They look like people who want to show 'I am so hot, my clothes are so cool, I am irresistible. Everybody poses and looks in the same way hiding the personality." I like to call this marketing attitude, to sell products and generate the feeling that everybody can look hot purchasing the advertised products / clothes. 

In my opinion, portraits are more beautiful, if the portrayed person looks authentic and 100% natural, not like a clone or a perfect puppet with perfect skin. Due to this kind of advertisement shooting, peoples' self criticism goes sky high, so that they compare themselves with faked, photoshopped advertisement model puppets.  

To conduce to this naturalness, I always choose outdoor locations instead of artificial studio lighting and try to encourage my clients, to choose clothes, accessories and a setting they are familiar with, so that they feel as comfortable as possible.

My inspiration for those natural shooting, is the team of Miobi Photography.
Consequently, I highly recommend to check out their portfolio and especially the video below, to get some ideas how to behave during a photo shooting to get natural and beautiful results.

How to behave during a shooting? 
  • Don't be shy & have fun! Show who you are :)
  • The more your offer, the better and the more diverse the results will become.
  • Communicate with the photographer and talk about your own ideas.
  • Stay active! (e.g. walk around, smile, look melancholic, shake your hair, cross your legs, jump)
  • Include your environment! (e.g. play with autumn leaves, climb between trees)

How NOT to behave during a shooting
  • Standing stiff and telling the photographer: "I don't know what to do"
  • Disobey the photographer's proposals and advices

Common fears of clients
  • "I have no control over the chosen pictures. What if the photographer choses pictures where I don't like myself?"
    No, you have control. After the shooting the photographer proposes his favourites picture from his point of view, concerning technical and compositional elements of the picture. At the same time, the client is also allowed to raise his voice uttering where he likes himself and where not.
  • "But what if I do look ugly? Then the photographer has so many ugly pictures of me."
    Yes, true! But it's in both, the photographer's and the client's interest to publish good pictures only.
  • "Why can't I obtain all of the pictures after the shooting?"
    Referring to the previous bullet point: The highest target of the shooting is, to show the client in the most favourable light. So it can't be in the client's interest, to obtain all the pictures, because mostly the rate of good pictures varies between 5% and 10% percent of all pictures
  • "But why do you take so many pictures?"
    To have a bigger choice afterwards and to react quickly to the client's poses. Furthermore, lots of prestigious photographers (e.g. Andreas Feiniger, Michael Freeman) characterise this procedure and behaviour as a necessity to catch "the perfect moment".  

    Summary / Desired results

    As a matter of course, I summarise this article with a preview of desirable outcomes of a shooting, considering the facts before. Therefore, I share again some of Miobi Photography's photographs, so that you can find the relation between the video and the final results of the shooting.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014


    In the beginning of August, I spent a long weekend at the Polish capital Warsaw. These days were probably the hottest days in the year, so that I was not able to stop sweating all the time, due to temperatures around 34°C. This was definitely too hot for me, I am really not made for these temperatures. Consequently, I spent most of the time walking from shades to shades avoiding the harsh midday sun. Sitting in the Metro, my companion also explained me that this one line is the only line in Warsaw and also in whole Poland, what definitely surprised me and made me laugh a bit. So I took a picture of this memorable place in Poland.
    Furthermore I've been visiting cafés and restaurants. Thereby, we found really one outstanding Italian restaurant,called Mąka i Woda, where I ordered pizza calzone. The taste was absolutely overwhelming! After finishing this dinner, I told the waitress that this was definitely the best pizza I ate in my whole life. Such a great experience!
    Below, I just want to share some of the pictures I took in Warsaw, so that you can get a small impression of this city and see my point of view. It was definitely not a photography trip so the pictures' nature is more touristic than artistic. I hope you still enjoy them; main locations are around and on top of the Cultural Palace, Parc Lazienki and some other places in the city center.

    handmade ginger breads.

    clever bike tool station!