50 Portraits – Portrait #11

Portraits

Us humans are the most complex of species on the planet.  Scientists among us are still decoding us.  Every single person on the planet is unique.  Yet some times we want to be someone else.  As photographer my aim is to show who you really are rather than what you would like yourself to be seen as.  Enough said.

There’s been a consistent theme in my photo shoots lately.  Here’s how the photo sessions have looked like so far from start to pack-up.  I set up the light and start testing first few images.  Looks ok but need to get better.   After I know the lights are right, I start directing the person.  Still ok.  I know it can get better.  Keep shooting for next 5 min.  Now I’m close to getting nervous because I know something is not working but I don’t know what it is and don’t know the solution yet. I keep a straight face continuing with the direction bringing in more involvement from the subject.  There’s an invisible wall between you and the person in front of the camera.  I have to shatter that wall so the person can really connect with me.  They’re looking over and wondering if the photos are looking good.  They start doubting themselves more than they doubt me as photographers.  If I start to show negative emotions on my face getting frustrated with the results I’m not getting which is entirely my fault, they’ll start to blame themselves.  May be I’m not looking good enough for a photo.  May be my nose is really wide, too small, too big.  Do I look fat?  The longer you take to shatter the wall between you and the subject the further deep the person will go in self doubt and the photograph is ruined.

So I start getting them involved.  Keep the conversations flowing so they don’t feel like an object.  We both now start to see the images.  I seek their feedbacks.  They start to feel part of the process.  I try to get their two cents.  I’m still nervous wondering why the hell I call myself a photographer.  There’s a parallel thought going through my mind while I’m trying to connect with them.   When I can’t figure it out I give them a break allowing the subject and myself to relax and come back refreshed.  When I’m confident and really connecting with the subject I let it rip a little longer.

We come back and things start to look good.  After few more attempts I get ‘the shot’.  I continue to take some more to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  And that’s a wrap.

Camera (Canon 1100d) settings were f4.5, 1/125, ISO100 with light in a softbox on camera left.  Flash was probably at 1/4 of power.

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