The one thing that always happens before a photo shoot – and ALWAYS catches my clients by surprise – is the pre-photo shoot emotional meltdown they experience.
Usually it comes in the form of a text or an email the day before we are scheduled to photograph. My client is asking to reschedule. “The dog ate my homework” laundry list of excuses ranges from “I didn’t get a chance to get my hair done” to “I can’t make it tomorrow because I need an emergency eye surgery”.
When we talk some more, the truth always comes out.
They are scared.
Of course they are scared. Standing in front of a camera is one of the most vulnerable things you could ever do. It also involves trust – trusting the person who is photographing you that they will make you look good.
Not an easy emotional task, that’s for sure. Did you know that the Native Americans did not agree to be photographed? They believed a photograph captured their soul. I can see why they believed that. It kind of does.
As we all know – the camera doesn’t lie. In fact, it pretty much is all about “In your face, truth!”. Facts we like to tell ourselves little white lies about – like “I didn’t gain any weight in the past year”. Or: “I have a full head of hair and there is no bold spot up there”. Or my personal favorite white lie I tell myself: “My teeth are pearly white” – all these stories come crashing into the great wall of reality check before a photo shoot, as our mind realizes that after the photo shoot tomorrow there will be nowhere to hide from the truth any longer.
And so, the logical decision to make is – cancel the photo shoot. Forget it ever happened. And keep living a lie.
How about we consider what is behind door #2? Yes, it is scary; we don’t know what’s behind it. Yes, it means we will have to face the truth. But – and stay with me here even though you are already so uncomfortable just reading this –
How about you be vulnerable and trust the professional you hired?
To me, being a professional photographer doesn’t just mean I have the best photography equipment. It doesn’t just mean I know how to technically get a perfectly exposed capture.
Being a professional photographer means to me that I know how to capture my clients best self. I know how to bring out the sleeping beauty inside a woman who tells me she is not photogenic or the handsome man under the insecure fellow who walks into my studio.
And if we are photographing on location – in your location – be it your home or office or spaceship – part of my job is to make the space look good for the shoot. Being a professional photographer means to me that I know how to set up your location in a way that compliments the shot – and hides the mess and the dust bunnies – or the spaceship’s peeling paint job.
If you are reading this article, chances are you are one of my clients. So before you pick up the phone to text me that the dog ate your makeup/ tore your tie up and you just can’t make it to the photo shoot – read this carefully.
And remember – part of being a professional photographer means to me that I am here to talk you off the ledge. So if you still need to hear my voice explaining to you why your upcoming photo shoot is going to be one of the best life experiences you have ever had – call me.
I am here for you.
And YES – YOU ARE photogenic!