You might think, looking around at my blog, that "P" would stand for "Photography." But, today, "P" stands for "Portrait." Similar, but different.
Except for babies, I do all of my photography outside. I don't have a studio, but the point is that I don't want one. I considered creating a studio in my basement, but the farther I have gone in my business, the more I figured out my style and my philosophy. I don't want to be like everyone else. I don't want to be like Sears or J.C. Penney or any number of portrait studios that sit people in front of a backdrop and take a picture and call it a portrait. If you like that kind of portrait, that's fine. But, I don't want to do that. When my kids were little, I had their pictures taken often. I don't want to insult anyone, but it doesn't take a lot of creativity to snap those kinds of pictures. I was getting sick of the usual, so I started suggesting poses to make it more interesting. Or, I would tell the photographer to not wait for a smile because I wanted real pictures of my kids. Some of my favorite pictures are unplanned moments and don't always include canned smiles and stiff poses.
I love having grass and trees and flowers as a backdrop. I love the natural light. Of course there are the elements to consider, but unpredictability is part of my style. I like to capture connections and emotions, which are hard to manufacture in a studio. With small children, it's hard to get them to sit still and smile on command for a portrait, which is why I haven't purchased school pictures in years. I like to take little ones to the park and let them play and just take pictures of them being natural.
I like to edit my pictures creatively as well. I don't batch edit. Sometimes I may just boost the color. Sometimes I make the portrait black and white or sepia. Sometimes I do some dramatic and creative editing. There is no one size fits all in my portraits. Each picture speaks to me differently and I edit accordingly.
Not everyone will like my style. Some like studio photography. Some don't like creative or black and white photos. And that's okay. That's why there are so many photographers. If you don't like one photographer's style, you can find one that you do like. It's important, as a potential client, that you look at each photographer's work and see what they do. Ask questions. Learn their policies. Find out if they match up with what you are looking for. Talk about your expectations so that there are no misconceptions or miscommunication.
It's hard, as a photographer, to run a business yet be an artist. To run a successful business, you have to keep clients happy and cater to what they want. Yet, artists have a style and express themselves in their work. They have to be true to themselves. Most of the time, I think I am more of a hobbyist than a professional photographer.
|~ Robin ~|