Friday 5

1. How much direction do you give your clients?

This is a tough one. Some clients don't need a lot of direction - they seem to forget I am there and are really comfortable in front of the camera. Other clients need a lot of direction - where to put their hands, how to sit, what to do with their legs. You never know what to expect going into a session and sometimes it can take a while for me to identify the types of clients I'm working with for each session. The biggest thing to remember is to not over direct a session - you don't want subjects looking uncomfortable or overly posed. The more fluid and natural, the better. It's always something I'm working on.

2. Aside from newborns, what is the most difficult age to photograph?

It varies from child to child, but ages 1 to 4 can be tricky. The younger they are the more difficult it is to get them to look directly at the camera. They're also wanting to exercise more independence, so being held or sitting for a setup can be difficult. When they start to round out about the age of 4, you run into difficulties getting a natural smile. I'm still trying to figure out how to get a natural smile and avoiding saying "cheese!". Boys this age can also totally be turned off by photographs. Kids are a challenge for any photographer, even seasoned ones. It just takes work and practice - something I'm working on all the time.

3. How long do you spend processing a single image?

It varies from shot to shot and session to session. Now that I have a more streamlined workflow, it goes really fast. I usually spend just a few minutes on each image once a client has made their selections.

4. Do you do in-person proofing? Do you help guide clients through their images?

I conduct all of my proofing online so that clients can take as long as they need to sort through the proofs of their session. I don't want clients to feel obligated to buy more images or certain shots because I am sitting there - I don't want them to have any regrets at the end of our working together. Plus, I am always surprised at the images clients select. Photography is so interpretive and subjective!

5. Has a client ever questioned your work or been unhappy with your work?

A few weeks ago I had a client reference some of my previous work and requested I shoot a bit differently - at first, it really rattled my confidence. However, I chose to take it constructively instead of beating myself up or being angry that someone questioned my style. The more I thought about what had been said, the more I acknowledged they were right. I've applied it to my new work and I definitely see a change and an improvement in my compositions and creativity.

As far as I know, a client has never been unhappy with their session. I go out of my way to make sure clients are happy with my work. I think the biggest thing for anyone working with a photographer to remember is that the outcome of a session does not rest solely on the shoulders of the photographer. It's important to work together and have open communication to get the best results from each other you can!

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