The second post in my #existinphotos series – a look at how the professional portrait still has a place in our snapshot-filled world.
Hi again. If you missed my first post on what the #existinphotos hashtag means and what it’s meant to accomplish, go check it out and come back! In this post, I wanted to touch on how I personally tie this movement in with the professional portrait itself.
Like I mentioned earlier, a big mental block for many people is this small (or large) fear of being photographed that many of us haven’t ever confronted head-on. For some, the idea of working through that by putting themselves in the middle of a studio in front of a lens is the worst possible way to deal. BUT – on the flip side – there are a few things this can help with. I strongly believe that although snapshots and quick photos with loved ones are special, they cannot replace the professional portrait.
Most professional-level photographers have spent years learning about how to photograph you. That fear that you’ll be too awkward, that you won’t know what to do with your hands, or that you don’t know how to stand is completely gone. Not a problem. A professional portrait is going to show you in your best possible light. We know how to position you best for your body type, how to look for stray hairs and awkward limbs, how to get a real smile.
With a growing number of photographers, and also when you book a shoot with me, you’ll have access to talented makeup artists who can bring out your best features and make you feel even more glamorous. This isn’t really something you can get unless you’re having a professional portrait done.
(Side note: Most of us are also pretty good at cleaning up anything we missed in Photoshop.)
All right – that is the reason for booking a portrait session, but what about the after? Let’s talk about what we DO with our photos. It’s the part of professional photography that not enough people are thinking about!
I mentioned earlier that the best camera is the one you have with you, right? So we have these smartphones, these cloud-based galleries, that carry every ounce of who we are. In a way, this becomes quantity over quality. It’s great to have the ability to quickly document things that are important, but I see several things come from this.
We snap the photos, maybe we post them online or maybe we don’t, and we never look back at them again.
They are thoughtless, sometimes even blurry or washed out, and not a very accurate capture of the real us!
There’s some tap of a button, or we lose a device, and we have now lost all of our photographs forever. Even if we don’t lose them all, a lot of them do not make it in our transfers from phone to phone, or one PC to our next.
I feel like this is the biggest reason to find some way to keep professional photography in your life. Chances are that you’ll be working with your photographer to arrange prints, framed art, or maybe a canvas of your shoot – this will outlast every single device you hold in your hand in the course of your life. (But if you express yourself a lot through social media, I also include digitals with all purchases.)
Keep an eye out for my next post – I’ll tackle some of the biggest reasons people tell me they can’t get photographs made of themselves. I think we can all find a little bit of ourselves in it.