This is an ongoing blog series called “Not Advice”. The purpose? To share with my readers simple things that I have learned or am learning along this journey of being creative. I want this blog to be helpful. I’m definitely not claiming to know everything, but I do have a few things that have helped me branch out, stay creative & get moving, so I’m going to let you in on all my “not advice”. I hope you’re here because you enjoy having fun and making life memories. Whether that be with a camera or just in general, I hope that you find encouragement from whatever little snippets you’re about to read. You can see the first two installments here & here. Cheers!
Ask your friends.
If you’re a person who loves taking pictures of people, the only way you’ll get more time behind the camera is if you ask your friends stand in front of it. When I first started taking pictures, I can’t tell you how many times I asked my sister, my roommates and my friends if they wanted to do a spontaneous photo shoot. More often than not, they were willing! I remember my first “real” photo shoot with my friends Michelle and Keeta (see above); We made our way up to these graffiti-covered water towers near my apartment in Syracuse. I thought it might make a great place to take pictures (it did!). I was so lucky my friends wanted to take a few hours that Saturday afternoon wander around with me. My pictures have gotten a bit better since then, but some of those pictures I still really love.
Before you ask them: Make sure you have a plan. “Hey, want to do a photo shoot on Tuesday? Oh, I don’t know where. Hmm, not sure what time. Eh, wear whatever you want.” That’s probably not going to get your friends excited about modeling for you. Have a location picked out, have a general time of day and a good idea of how you want them to dress. You’re the photographer here; you have to be the creative one! Your friends WANT to have nice pictures, and if you at least sound like you know what you want, they will trust your creative direction!
During the shoot: If these people are your good friends, they’ll know that this is a new experience for you. Don’t be embarrassed if you run out of ideas or poses or even memory space on your card. Take your time (or a break) and chat. Maybe walk around the location more, finding more cool places to take pictures. Don’t rush this fun outing with your friends, but also, if you’re really stuck, don’t force it. Nothing creative ever came from forcing yourself to do something.
The moral of the story is this: Ask your awesome siblings and/or friends to be in front of your camera and then? Get your practice on! You’ll have more photos to put in your portfolio, and they’ll get great pictures to use as Facebook profile pics. Win win. =)
Enjoy your day!