Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The stage is yours!

After a very long period, I finally spent the last ten days at home in Germany. A small village on 1000m above sea level. During my childhood my family moved very often so I never felt home in our new residences. This time, it was totally different; I finally felt that I am at home; the very changeable weather, with dark clouds, rain, wind, fog, sunshine and hail. Just snow was missing this time. I went out for some small strolls through the very calm village, perceiving the serene rural life style and nature.
Last saturday, I also visited a very minimalistic theatre of an actor in solo performance, telling some stories from the bible in such an interesting, unique and perfectly entertaining way. (I'm not strongly religious, but a bit interested in the stories.) Before his performance, he pleased me to take some pictures during his recital which I didn't reject, of course. Watching him, I was fascinated of his rhetorical as well as of his mimic skills, to express numerous contrasty emotions, from joy to anger, from screaming to remain absolutely silent.
Due to the very basic scenery and lighting, the pictures look quite grey, but still the minimalism can also be interesting.

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.