I have always felt that photography allowed me a certain freedom at social gatherings...it kind of forces you to get around the room, it's an easy conversation starter, and, of course, I love recording the occasion (yes, my family has practiced patience with me!). However, it is only since opening shop that I have come to truly understand how critical rapport (defined as "harmonious or sympathetic relation") is in capturing a great shot.
Over the course of the last year + I have been diligently studying the technical side of photography. Learning to understand the power of lens choice, aperture settings, lighting positioning, etc. At times it is easy to lose yourself in the technical and forget the here and now, but I venture to say that there aren't very many beautiful portraits of people that came from a session where there was no sincere interaction between photog and subject.
Last weekend I was honoured to photograph a close friend who wanted maternity shots a la Demi Moore (you remember that incredible Annie Leibovitz cover for Vanity Fair, right?) We have been friends since college, (which we both delusionally consider to have been only a few years ago!), and we manage to get together for laughs and drinks a few times each year. My friend is a classy lady who seems to always have a clean car and perfect hair and so, whilst she was excited, she did say that baring all in front of a camera was a little intimidating - and who wouldn't feel that way. This was yet another occasion where rapport between us made all the difference in the world. Yes the lighting, the backdrops, and the camera settings all made an impact on the final images, but the final image wouldn't have been possible without her trust in me both as a person and as a photographer.
I guess my point in today's entry is that if you're looking for a photographer, make sure it's someone you like, someone you could have a laugh with. Yes - style, equipment, and education should all be part of your Q&A with your potential photographer, but no less important is if you like them. Life is short - pick a photographer that you can share rapport with...it'll show!
Image: an environmental portrait of my dad...I think we have pretty good rapport!
Stay tuned for shots from the maternity shoot...as it the images will be a gift I won't be posting any until after the recipient has seen them!
Life is good!