It's funny, this photographic journey seems as though it's come full circle. When I was first starting out, awkwardness was not uncommon. It felt weird to tell complete strangers what to do, where to stand, when to smile, and what to do with their hands. Now, years later, I've embarked upon a new photographic approach and, to a certain extent, that awkward feeling is back!
The difference is that now I'm working hard to not tell everyone what to do! I've become very comfortable with coaching my clients and working with them to create the beautifully posed, traditional looks that we all know and love. In my lifestyle/documentary sessions, that coaching doesn't happen nearly as much, if at all. Instead, I might direct them to a particular setting or draw their attention to something in the environment, and then allow them to interact as they naturally would.
I've experimented with (and will be implementing) this approach because the images that I get are breathtaking. Instead of photo sessions all looking the same, parents worrying about children's expressions or unruly energy, or couples feeling awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera, my clients are realizing that photo sessions can be FUN! Children can look natural and the expressions and activities that make them so unique can be captured. Couples are able to recognize the twinkle in their partner's eyes, see authentic expressions, and realize that they should have been documenting their life together all along!
One of my recent experiments was at a local ice cream shop and absolutely ROCKED!
Check it out and let me know what you think!