Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Discarded Beauty.

One of the goals of photographers is to capture an amazing image that will stand the test of time. We hope to create a picture that will stand out and draw acclaim for both us and the subject. Another goal is to earn money for your efforts. Often, these two goals require a different 'eye' from the photographer. It is a very hard line to straddle especially for a photographer like myself.

I pride myself in not being a studio photographer. There is nothing wrong with being a studio photographer. Some of the most renowned pieces of photography are the result of studio sessions and for some people, that is the exact environment that works for them. But not me. I love shooting in the elements whether that be a park or in someone's living room. I think that pictures speak more when the background adds to the conversation. They are more artistic that way. I always tell people that if they want they normal white background kind of shot, I'm not the right photographer for them. And there is nothing wrong with that.

So, with that in mind, I assume that people that hire me are looking for that treatment and for more of an artistic, quirky type of picture. Which brings me to the confluence of the two goals. Sometimes, after a shoot, I see a picture that is truly artistic and beautiful that I am SURE that the client will choose. I send them the proofs and get their selections back, only to realize that they have NOT chosen the picture that I thought was amazing! What!?!?! In my mind, I am screaming, "ummmmm ya missed one" but this is their choice. They are paying the bill so they get to decide.

So what do I do with this great image? Put it on my website (with permission, of course) or just put in the archives? If I put it on the site, am I risking not attracting clients? After all, it WAS a rejected image. I then have to decide whether the images on my site are there as stylistic representations of me or advertisements to draw in more clients. I haven't come to a decision on that yet, by the way, and I am leaning towards it being both. If I store the image, I feel like I'm burying my talent.

There is one other option I guess: tell the client that you think that they should choose this image instead. That's a tough call. Clients already have a hard time narrowing down their selections. I recently did a shoot and took 460 frames (that's another story altogether) and I will probably edit and deliver around 100 images. From that pile, the client will choose about TEN!!! Can you imagine after you painstakingly agonize over which 90 to discard that the photographer comes back and says you should reconsider your choices? My head would explode! LOL Clearly, there is no easy answer to this quandary. So I'll keep shooting and hope that my clients and I see eye to eye.

And you thought we just pick up our cameras and start taking pictures! On to the next frame...staying in focus.


Brooke said...

It must be difficult to fuse your vision with that of your clients. I think photographers have to be able to see the beauty in everything, which is not an easy task for most of us. Most of us see only what we want to see, or what we were told is beautiful.

It's a true talent that you have, and you just have to remember that it's all in the eye of the beholder. Everyone can't see thru the same lens, so just keep shooting until you both develop a positive picture :)

Hayden said...

I agree with you Brooke. I think I might set up viewing sessions so that the client and I can look through the preliminary prints and they can get my vision for each of the shots that I chose. I think that may give them a better lens to see them with, so to speak. The thing is, does that serve me or the client more?

Annamaria said...

Hayden photography is not your job it's your passion & that's why I think you take it sooo literal & personal. BUT what you have to remember is not to step over that fine line. If the person hired you & is paying you they want what they want. Some people might appreciate your opinion & your expertise as far as what selections you think are best. PERSONALLY I know that I would tase you if I picked a picture & you said I think you should choose the other one instead..LOL
What you could do is with permission post them on your site OR this blog & maybe give a blurb as to how you felt about the shot & what you "saw"... Then if they look at your site/blog which they BETTER they may look at the picture differently & BOOM...

Hayden said...

The "provide an explanation" part is a very good idea. Most of the images on the website don't have captions. Putting the picture in a place that I can add information to it (like this blog), allows people to see why I like the shot. Thanks Anna.