I wrote an article how I plan a portrait photo shoot that mentioned I don’t share my ideas or details about how a photo shoot may play out with a potential client when they’re still considering other options. This could easily be interpreted as me wanting to safeguard my ideas from competition. In reality, I’m a believer that you should give more than you take.
I’m not writing this article because I feel like I owe someone an explanation, or because I’ve received any negative feedback about it (I haven’t by the way!). But simply to provide some clarification. I’m a firm believer in being as open and honest as I possibly can be. So here goes!
Getting to know you
In my humble opinion, the first interaction between potential client and photographer should be all about getting to know each other. It should be the opportunity to build rapport in a relaxed and neutral environment.
I wrote in that article about the who, what, when, where & why. These are at the forefront of my mind during every first interaction with a potential new client. The physical act of image making is somewhere near the back!
A portrait shoot is never about me…
Speak to anyone I know and they’ll tell you how much I love photography. So this is a little challenging for me. But the likelihood is that the person I’m speaking to doesn’t share that passion and enthusiasm for what I do. And that’s OK. I would never expect them to. A portrait shoot is never about me, so why would I talk about me.
Preparing one’s self for a portrait session can be mentally challenging for some. It’s a very personal affair. Doing what I can to alleviate those fears is my priority. If I start to run on about lighting, posing, importance of what they should and shouldn’t wear etc, all I’m succeeding in doing is adding mental baggage.
If you’re not someone who experiences the mental difficulties of sitting for a portrait session, that’s great! But I’d maintain my stance on this nonetheless. Mainly because I don’t know you well enough yet to know if this is a difficulty for you. But also because I still believe in the other points I’ve mentioned above.
Give more than you take
I’m actually a huge advocate for sharing ideas. If someone has decided to put themselves in front of a camera, I want them to have the best experience possible. That applies whether I get to be the one on the opposite side of the camera or not. If someone asked me for ideas, I’d be only too happy to share.
I hope this article has provided clarity about my reluctance to discuss ideas and details about a portrait session during an initial meeting. I value your opinion on this so please leave a comment below if you have a point of view you’d like to share with me. I’ll always reply to comments.