I was searching through some old e-mails trying to dig up a past estimate when I came across a note from a fellow photographer who was imparting a bit of advice to me when I was just getting going in my career. I thought he made a very sagely point, so I wanted to share it with all of you too.
“Some photographers use all sorts of lighting tricks to make a photo ‘edgy’ and ‘creative.’ But they’re just tricks. They’re making the image more about themselves than the person… ‘Look how clever I am!’
It’s never about the photographer.”
It cuts down to a fundamental point about portrait and people photography. Each photographer leaves their own stamp on an image. It’s their perspective of viewing the world. Everything from the style, production, lighting, etc in the image. These are important elements. However, what really cuts down to a great image is the connection with a subject. Without capturing that moment - showing who your subject is or the genuine feeling they’re having - no amount of creative lighting or styling will make up for that missing piece. It is at the core of creating a great image.
Remember, it’s never about the photographer. It’s about the connection with your subject.