It’s important for me as a photographer to evolve. Consistency is key in this line of business, but staying the same gets old real fast. I have found that the quickest path to growth, both in business and in our personal lives, involves stepping outside of your comfort zone. I really like my comfort zone. It’s, well, comfortable. But lately, I find myself accepting jobs that sort of freak me out…even when I know they will. It’s quite strange really, but maybe I’m learning to not be so afraid. My subconscious seems to be catching on to the fact that I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for, but I’m still a few steps behind.
So, subconsciously, I accepted a job with an amazing design firm as resident photographer for one of their day long workshops. The job involved everything that I’m not used to doing…shooting in JPG instead of RAW, shooting in black & white, handing over files for print on site with minimal time for editing, shooting before and after portraits for approximately 40 individuals with just seconds between each photo. The best part was that the “before” shot had to be bad - think mugshot or bad driver’s license photo. Gasp! I’ve spent the last few years trying to avoid bad photos and now I had to create one? Later in the day my job was to transform (the theme of the workshop) these individuals and create a more true and beautiful representation of who they are. I’ve never had to think so quickly or be more creative when shooting a portrait. It was a memorable day spent with some very genuine people.
What’s the easiest way to create a less than flattering portrait? Shoot your subject straight on with on-camera flash. The best way to showcase your subject in a more flattering light? Use a more flattering light – the sun : )
Here are some of my favorite before and after shots from the day.
This is Heather – she was such a huge help to me during the workshop, so we took some time to grab a couple extra “after” photos.
Taking portraits of family connections and growing kids will always be my main focus, but stepping outside of that realm once in a while only helps me to grow.