I know. This is a surprise for you and me. Who knew we were going to send out another Email so soon. I definitely didn’t – at least until I started thinking about the one we sent out yesterday – and how I was… generally bored.
So let’s make up for that one. I’m going to make some assumptions and you can back out at any time.
1. You like our photos to some degree
2. You signed up because you think we’ll give you a few tips on how we make our photos.
That’s about all I’ll assume for now. So. Here we are.
Forgive me if this gets to be too much like actors talking about acting – because it’s going to get close.
We like people and we like photos of people. Those are the main reasons why we shoot. Photographing people lets us get to know them in a way we otherwise wouldn’t. If you read today’s blog post about our session with newborn baby Logan – I talk about how we enter peoples lives and look for ‘moments’ to capture. I’m not talking about being voyeuristic – I’m talking about being there when things happen so that I can share a piece of that. I’m talking about making a connection with almost-strangers so that they feel comfortable enough to share a piece of themselves with me, with us.
And while I try not to take myself too seriously – I take photographing people very seriously – because at the same time that they’re opening themselves up to me – I’m accepting the responsibility to make them look great, or at the very least, honest.
How do I know that they’ve opened themselves up to me? Even if just a little bit? Well there are several signs that signal this, but I know because usually I’m right in their face with my lens. I’m close. I get closer. I usually get really close – closer than I otherwise would. Closer than you usually allow someone you met 10 minutes ago, to get to you and your face. Right. I’m all up in their faces. Even when I’m across the room, I’m kind of in your face. I don’t really hide. I’m a big Asian guy with a big camera and the autofocus light shines in your eyes – you can’t miss me.
(ProTip – if it’s low light and the autofocus light keeps coming on to shine in people’s faces, I’ll pre-focus on something at the same distance, like their shoulder, so that it doesn’t shine in their eyes and then pull up the camera to take the shot.)
I hardly ever zoom. Unless we’re photographing a wedding – I’m shooting at one of two focal lengths – very wide at 18mm or standard with a 35mm prime. Very rarely will I compose a shot by zooming in with my lens. I move my feet. I’m all over the place. So any photo you see of ours where we’re close to the persons face – we’re probably even closer than you think. This isn’t always a good thing – and you can see in our shots that we’re almost always shooting with a wide angle because there’s no compression of the background.
When we start out photographing people, we tend to stay back. Sometimes you’ll see an entire portfolio or photos from an event where every shot is taken from a distance of about 3-5 feet. This 3-5 foot range is where everyone else takes photos. You should try your hardest to spend less time there. Sure you can zoom in, but our eyes know the difference in perspective. Now. Composing your shot while you’re right in the middle of an event with everyone moving around – that’s a different email.
See you next week.
Thanks for reading.
Leah and Mark Tioxon