During my 14 year career in the film and photography industry I've done my fair share of experimentation and I've had my fair share of failures too.
By far the best investment I've made in my business and in my career has been the investment in educating myself and as my first blog post here with the team at Ted’s Masters I'm really excited to share what I've been taught by some of the worlds most talented creatives.
As a wedding photographer selling my work is paramount, so before we get into how to create complex photographs or selling your work we need to get back to the grass roots of creating an amazing photograph that people will want to buy, for me, learning these steps have been one of the biggest contributors to my continued success in a very competitive and creative industry.
These 6 steps may seem so simple and straight forward but understanding them and very deliberately actioning them has changed my career and my life. While the steps in this post may seem to address the creative side of a photography business they are just one small part of the big picture to a successful business. I personally believe they are fundamental to creating yourself a saleable style that your potential wedding & portrait clients or just family & friends want.
The Six Steps
- - Light
- - Location
- - Direction
- - Technique
- - Expression
- - Story
1 - Light
LET THE LIGHT GUIDE YOU AS TO HOW YOU SHOOT!
If you're inside, walk into every room.
If you're outside, look for the natural glow in the environment.
Ask yourself, Where is the sun coming from? Is there a window with light coming in? Can I create the light with an LED,a flash or a reflector?
If it’s cloudy and you cant see the sun or a direction of light, hold out your hand in front of
you and rotate on the spot until see the natural glow in your skin and there’s your direction.
IMPORTANT POINT - Lighting is paramount to a quality photograph and you can use the
light to not only illuminate your subject but to also convey a specific message about your
subject or to the viewer, i.e., dark & moody or light & bright lighting.
2 - Location
- Don't be seduced by a nice background.
- If you skip step 1, you HAVE TO go back to it.
- Make your subject the brightest part of the image as
best as you can.
- Be open to something different, don't get locked into
pose #25 with couple #43 in location #50.
- Let the light guide you in your environment.
What happens if your clients or family ask you this question? …Because they will.
“Can we have a photo here, we really want a nice shot with this background?”
The answer is very simple, you try to create that beautiful light and you just do the best you can given your skills and the location while being confident in your decisions.
3 - Direction
When directing your subject you need to give them a reason to be in that particular scene so that your photograph looks natural and un-posed.
If you have a single subject for example, they could be leaning on a wall, looking at you or away. They could be walking through the frame looking back, the possibilities are endless.
For a couple, they could be kissing beside some flowers. They could be walking towards you holding hands laughing with each other.
They may have a baby so they could be holding the baby above them looking at and laughing with the baby.
A FEW POSING TRICKS
- Demonstrate the pose and get your subject to mirror you, this alone will change your world because you can see what the pose looks like before you even click the shutter.
- Hourglass shape for women, hang the body for guys.
- Keep your subjects hands very soft and relaxed unless you're going for a masculine look.
- Always shift the weight to one side or to the back.
- Use whats around you
- When all else fails - LET THE LIGHT GUIDE YOU!
If you like Ben's work, check out his portfolio and galleries here...