March 28 2015

The Value of a Photography Session.

I recently attended a networking event during which I shared with someone that I am a photographer and upon hearing this , he rolled his eyes in slight exasperation, reached into his pocket, pulled out his cell phone, held it up as if taking a photo, put it back in his pocket and gave me a smirk.

I get it- we all have cameras, we all take tons of photos of people, places and things and it’s amazing that we have the ability to do so. And the value of images are also very subjective- someone can post a photo from a girls night out and when viewing it, it evokes the party spirit, the happiness of being with close friends and a carefree moment;  the purpose of that photo has been met- to trigger these feeling and memories when viewing it. However, when taking a closer look of say, you in that very image, do you still have these great feelings or did that photo come up short in capturing you as you see yourself?

It’s easy to throw affectations and silly poses at the camera around friends or for selfies, but the value in a photography session is for us to work passed the “say cheese” smiles, work passed the self conscious hang-ups we have about ourselves, and allow yourself to stop thinking about physical elements when being photographed and start feeling into the emotional level to allow your authentic expressions to come out on their own.

This is one of the first shots from a recent photo session with a client of mine and to that man’s point at the networking event, if all you want is an image that enables people to identify you in a crowded room, then this photo meets that purpose. But my client’s comment upon seeing this image was that this is not how she sees herself and I would certainly agree.

We see all the traits of being tense, uneasy and not sure what to do in front of the camera, which is typical of pretty much everyone when they realize the camera is soley on them:

* Tense shoulders (one far more tense than the other!)

* “Say Cheese” exaggerated smile

* Squaring off at the camera almost in a defensive mode!

I hope you all have had a least one time in your life when you were out in public by yourself and a thought came to mind that was so funny, despite your best efforts, you broke out laughing and everyone around you is looking at you like you’re crazy- it’s that emotional freedom we work on together throughout the shoot to enable authentic expressions to come out and create images that make you feel great about who you see. This is what we came up with by the end of our shoot:

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