The ProActive Photographer ~ Meeting new People, Finding Light & Telling a Story

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One of the many wonderful things about living a beautiful place like Charleston is that there is always something fun going on, giving me an opportunity to practice. That’s right, practice. Like anyone wishing to improve their skillset, whether an athlete, musician or artist, I enjoy my practice time.

This past Sunday, I took my trusty camera equipped with a 50mm lens and set off to not only capture some fun images, but also practice looking for light and meeting new people. A lot of photographers have asked me over the years why it seems so easy for me to walk up to a stranger, have a conversation and be allowed to photograph them. I guess it’s because I’m more interested in my subject’s story and learning about them, rather than telling them all about me. And the really cool thing is that I usually wind up making some very interesting acquaintances and eventually friendships!

Once I have gotten to know my subject and they are comfortable with allowing me to photograph them, I like to make sure to see where the light is coming from before taking the first frame. Since I am traveling light and not bringing lighting gear, I need to make the best use of the existing light. Open shade with a reflection off a building or sidewalk is a great place to start. The next step is to have an idea of what message I am trying to convey to my audience. What is the emotional response that I wish to elicit? I usually have a pretty good idea based on my conversation and watching their body language. This is what helps me be at the top of my game when it comes time to work with my clients. My client’s time is very valuable (and for that matter so is mine and yours!) so by being able to work with efficiency while creating compelling imagery shows them respect. It also allows me to shoot less, saving more time in post processing, and time is the only thing we can never get more of.

I hope you enjoy these, and until next time, have fun!

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