I have photographed people from all walks of life. Whether they are a long-time Sydney local, someone from the Australian bush or anywhere else in the world for that matter, successfully capturing a portrait is like telling a great story.
Getting the best from a portrait shoot requires flexibility and good communication skills.
In the case of editorial photography, the portrait or portraits accompanying an article or feature story have a special role. Such portraits need to engage the reader, trigger the imagination, prompt the reader to imagine how the story unfolds, what motivators the subject, what is their story, and literally entice them into reading it. Maintaining a strong link between the portrait and the written word is paramount, regardless of what comes first. This is where the relationship with and an understanding of the writer's approach to the subject and story plays a pivotal role.
On the corporate, commercial or annual report side of portraiture, I could be photographing anyone from a construction worker to the Chair of a top 100 company. Both are busy and having their photograph taken is usually the last thing they want impacting on their day. In the case of the Chair, quite often I only have fifteen minutes to photograph them during a break in the board meeting or AGM. As for the construction worker, well no time is a good time to stop and look relaxed for a photographer.
Both are real people, with a story to tell and something unique to bring to the image. That’s where I come in. In the short space of time I get to spend with my subjects, I try to take their mind off what’s going on around them and help put them at ease. Camera and lighting are prepared so that I can focus on the task at hand, capturing their finer side in as few frames as possible. I must be doing something right because some even start to enjoy it.
Photographing people requires flexibility and good communication skills in order to get the best from people who may not be accustomed to being in front of the camera. By the same token, someone who is accustomed to being in front of the camera can sometimes be even more demanding. I consider myself the ultimate diplomat and capable of working with any number or diversity of stakeholders. You’ll find I have the communication and customer service skills to translate your brief into everything and more than you imagined.