Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 61 - It’s Just Not Me

July 06, 2018
Freelance Photographer in St Ives Cambridgeshire: Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London. Professional Photography Services in St Ives, St Neots, Huntingdon, Bedford, Peterborough, Ely & Cambridge.    
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   Alistair Grant 

Freelance Photographer Cambridge & London

     
     

bokeh photographic: Blog No: 61

Freelance Photographer Cambridge Blog Image | Blog 60 | Rewilding (A puffin flying in with nesting material photographed on Skomer Island during the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild). © bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Freelance Photographer; 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, St Ives, Cambridge.Blog 60 - Rewilding (A puffin flying in with nesting material photographed on Skomer Island during the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild) | bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London.Blog 60 - Rewilding (A puffin flying in with nesting material photographed on Skomer Island during the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild) by Alistair Grant. Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.

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It's Just Not Me

‘It’s just not me’! Unfortunately, I hear this phrase a lot. If I had a pound for every time a prospective client uttered these words I certainly wouldn’t be a millionaire but I most definitely would have a significant amount of extra spending money. The context is important; people approaching me for Portrait Photography accompanied by a photograph - taken by another photographer - from a photoshoot where they have been ‘transformed’. To say people are disappointed in their transformation is an understatement. The key point is that in addition to being instructed to do things (e.g. contrived poses) outside their comfort zone such transformations also generally involve extensive makeup and/or digital manipulation that goes way beyond retouching blemishes. It seems that what may have appeared a good idea at the time rapidly becomes a source of discomfort and embarrassment. Instead of a portrait print taking pride of place on the mantelpiece or a photographic canvas being hung on the living-room wall, any prints, canvases etc. from the shoot are discreetly tucked away out of sight. It is important not to underestimate the persuasiveness of photographers who push so-called lifestyle makeover portrait photography. To be blunt it is the photographer’s lifestyle interests (mostly in the form of make-up but also including instructions regarding dress, the props the photographer supplies and the directions they bark out at clients during the photoshoot) that is forced upon the clients rather than representing the clients true lifestyle. This is surely wrong? Worse still, transformational photoshoots, or at least adverts for transformational photoshoots, seem to be on the increase. I’m holding out hope that lifestyle makeover portrait photographers have had to up their marketing as more and more people discover what transformational really means. The language is powerful. As well as ‘transform’ I have seen adverts that claim the process will ‘revitalise’, ‘revolutionise’, ‘remodel’, ‘shape-up’ and perhaps most worryingly ‘naturalise’ the person sitting for the portrait. There’s always an inspirational quote, usually about 'realizing your dream', and plenty of before (very very bad) vs. after (very good) imagery. One advert blatantly showed excessive digital manipulation that made even PortraitPro (NB: photographic ‘retouching’ software that positively encourages substantial digital remodelling of facial features) look tame.

It’s important to understand I’m not against makeovers. In fact, in the spirit of full disclosure I’m shortly to launch 'Naturally You' a natural (i.e. subtle) makeover portrait package in partnership with a local makeup artist who shares my concerns. I also fully appreciate the feel good factor of a makeover experience. What I am questioning is whether clients really desire extreme makeup and/or digital manipulation not to mention being ordered around by the photographer. Based on the numbers of people stating ‘it’s just not me’ it would seem not? On a more serious note transformational promises are surely psychologically damaging. The clear intonation is that the person sitting for the photoshoot isn’t attractive/beautiful/worthy etc. until they have ‘turned over a new leaf’ by undergoing the lifestyle makeover. As one advert succinctly puts it: ‘the new you is the real you’. This also isn’t an argument against creativity. In fact, I would argue avoiding excessive make-up and digital manipulation (as opposed to minor retouching) actually encourages photographic creativity. As well as being an enjoyable experience the ultimate goal of ‘Naturally You’ will be to produce portrait photographs that clients are happy and fully comfortable with in the long term. Watch this space and most importantly be you and not what the photographer wants you to be!

Finally, a little tongue in cheek but you might recognise this image (Credit: asociacion-acre.org) from recent news reports where a 16th century wooden sculpture of St George at the San Miguel de Estella church in northern Spain was ‘retouched’ a little over enthusiastically. It's not hard to imagine St George declaring ‘it’s just not me’!

   
     

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.

  Page Artwork - bokeh photographic Back to Page Top Arrow Blackboard Logo. © bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Freelance Photographer in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London. bokeh photographic Back to Page Top Arrow Blackboard Logo Artwork | bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London.bokeh photographic Back to Page Top Arrow Blackboard Logo Artwork by Alistair Grant (bokeh photographic). Food & Drink Photography, Food Photography, Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography and Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography and Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.

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

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Tel: 07775 365507 | Email: alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk