Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 44 - Always Be Aware of Your Photographee

January 12, 2018
bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Food & Drink Photographer; Commercial Photographer, Product Photographer & Packshot Photographer; Event Photographer; Portrait Photographer; Corporate Photographer & PR Photographer; Engagement Photographer & Wedding Photographer and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, St Neots, St Ives and London. Freelance Photographer & Freelance Photography Services in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.    
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   Alistair Grant 

Freelance Photographer Cambridge & London

     
     

bokeh photographic: Blog No: 44

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Always Be Aware of Your Photographee

There is a cardinal yet largely unwritten rule in photography that states a photographer must always be aware of the photographee i.e. the person they are photographing. Incidentally, I haven't made the term photographee up. Although rarely used it is a real word. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun as 'a person who is photographed; the subject of a photograph.' Over the years I have observed inexperienced photographers thrust lenses in people's faces on portrait sittings (which in itself speaks volumes as you can only get this close when using a ‘short’ glass whereas a longer focal length lens would yield a far more pleasing result) in addition to witnessing naïve (or perhaps bloody minded?) photographers get so close to keynote speakers when shooting event photography so that the photographer is more on the stage than the VIP guest. These problems are exacerbated by inexperienced photographers overstaying their welcome. In other words, rather than getting their shot and stepping back they stumble into trigger-happy mode and shoot frame after frame, without changing any camera parameters, presumably in the hope that one of the many shots will turn out ok.

A good photographer isn’t just proficient in the technical aspects of an exposure. They are also aware of and fully understand the perspective of the person(s) they are photographing as well as what is or isn’t acceptable behaviour in the context of wherever they are photographing. In one memorable case I saw a photographer get booed off stage as the audience, quite understandably, wanted to see the guest speaker and not the back of the photographer who was obliterating the audience’s view of the presenter in order to get their shot. I think there is a case to be made that no one really likes having their photograph taken. Meticulous consideration of body language and other non-verbal cues would seems to confirm this. Accordingly, it is the photographer’s job to make photographees feel relaxed and comfortable. On a related note, apart from being considered ‘attractive’ (noting of course that beauty can be ‘measured’ in so many different ways) there is also a persuasive argument that professional models are successful because they learn to moderate body language.

Alas I have to report that recently I have failed to fully understand the perspective of somebody I was photographing albeit in a slightly unusual way. Whilst shooting this kite surfer on a bitterly cold winter afternoon I recall thinking to myself 'no way would you get me into the water – the air temperature is cold enough so the sea must be absolutely freezing.' When chatting to the kite surfer after he got out the sea I told him this only for him to point out, of course, that I was the one standing around in the cold. He, on the other hand, had been vigorously exercising in the water with the substantial benefit of an A*-rated thermally insulated dry suit. Touché!

   
     

Call Alistair Grant on 07775 365507, Email alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk or click Booking Enquiries if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

   
     

bokeh: "the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens"


Freelance Photographer offering Food & Drink Photography Cambridge; Commercial Photography Cambridge, Product Photography Cambridge & Packshot Photography Cambridge; Event Photography Cambridge; Portrait Photography Cambridge; Corporate Photography Cambridge & PR Photography Cambridge; Engagement Photography Cambridge & Wedding Photography Cambridge and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge. Also covering: Huntingdon, St. Ives, Ramsey, St. Neots, Peterborough, Bedford, Stamford, Newmarket, Sawtry, Alconbury Weston, Brampton, Hartford, Warboys, Houghton, Wyton, Godmanchester, Hilton, Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots, Fenstanton, Whittesley, Yaxley, Needingworth, Somersham, Chatteris, Ely, Bar Hill, Grafham and Buckden.

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bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer | Cambridge, London, UK

Food & Drink Photography | Commercial Photography & Product Photography | Corporate Photography & PR Photography | Portrait Photography (inc. 'Active Portraiture') | Event Photography | Wedding Photography | Photography Training Courses & Camera Tuition

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