Thursday, June 24, 2010

Communication is Vital


Photography is like painting on a canvas but with the simple click of the shutter. When artists take years to create a beautiful work of art, a photographer only takes moments. Whether you're a painter or a photographer, you are creating art. Your photographic art needs to communicate three things: Who you are, who your client is, and who is your audience.

Who Are You?
Most photographers find it hard to describe their specific style of photography. Some enjoy taking snapshots of candid moments, while others prefer a more traditional portrait style. Regardless of your personal taste, you need to discover your personal technique and then stick with it. Stephen Karlisch of Karlisch Photography says, "If you look at the true icons of photography, their style is very consistent. The photographer who keeps changing his style is never going to make it in the long run" (Constant Craving, Jeff Kent, Professional Photographer, Vol. 134).

Who is Your Client?
Every one of your clients has a story to tell. It is your job as their photographer to tell that story. If you hastily create a relationship with your client, you may find it extremely difficult to capture their life on film. Take the time to get to know your clients before the shoot. You may find it beneficial to set up a consultation a week or two before the event. Understand their likes, their dislikes, how many siblings they have, what their favorite food is, etc. Keep track of who they are in their client notes in StudioCloud and you'll find that it's much easier to tell their story if you know who they really are.

Who is Your Audience?
When your client sees their proofs for the first time, each picture needs to convey a certain emotion tailored specifically to them. Emotion and your style go hand in hand as your strive for the picture perfect photo. Aim to capture your clients mood, expression, and personality. If you can get your client to "be themselves" during a photo shoot, the emotion you receive will be real, raw and beautiful and be directed to your audience: the client.

If you truly want to succeed as a photographer, you will need to learn how to communicate with yourself, your clients, and the art that you create.

Do you have any suggestions to other photographers who want to learn how to communicate through their photography?

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!

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