In the eyes of the most, photography, including photographing women, is about the gear you have.
Is that the last 49 zillion pixel camera you are holding? Do you shoot with the five thousand dollars light?
Sometimes it feels like the penis envy, everyone peeping around to see who is the one with the biggest lens, or the one with the more “macho-looking” camera.
Truth can’t be further from that in photography, especially portrait or boudoir photography. Photography is about the connection and the human relation you can establish with your subject.
Photographing women is about creating a human relation with them, it is about the personal relation you and your subject are going to share. What are the top advices we can give you while photographing women?
You are photographing a human being
Does it sound obvious? When you are photographing women, you need to realise that you are capturing the image of a person with feelings. The one in front of your camera is a woman who needs directions and reassurances. She is allowing you to photograph her with little to cover her, so the least you can do is to treat her with respect. We know that photographing women can be intimidating (yes, for you big beefy bloke over there), but if you want to be a successful boudoir or portrait photographer, you need to connect emotionally with the person in front of you.
Get to know your subject
What’s the name of your customer? What does she like? Which images does speak to her soul? What does she fear?
Photographing women means more than just raising a professional-looking camera and snapping away. If you believe that those “natural looking” images happens by lucky chance, or just letting a “moment” develop on its own, think back. As a photographer you need to direct and coach, and be able to capture the in-between moments. To do that you need to know your subject, you need to know and treat her as you know and treat your friends.
Put yourself in her shoes
One of the things that you should try is to place yourself in her shoes. What make you feel better if you had someone photographing you? Photographing women is not just about showing a body; it is about making their personalities transpire from your images. That beautiful smile, the natural gestures she does when she is not thinking. All those things you do when you are at ease. If you were her, what would you like the photographer to be doing?
Give constant feedback
Last Sunday we host a Photographing Women workshop. Part of the introduction was exactly about this: the human connection, the personal relation and how to create and maintain that trust relationship so vital when you are photographing women. One of the things we reminded the photographers who participated in the workshop was that a person in front of the camera needs reassurances. What would happen in your mind if a photographer would be snapping five, six frames of you without saying a single word? You would start questioning everything!
Am I doing this in the right way? Is my face ok? Can he/she see my belly from there? Am I looking good?
Too many questions, that will inevitably be shown in your images. Photographing Women is, first and foremost, making sure they are feeling well, and if you are photographing them, the least you can do is to give them constant reassurance!
Everything is going well, and you are doing great!
Yes, fantastic smile.
Look down for me, yes, like this.
When I am telling you, I’d like you to look back in the camera.
Yes, fantastic, exactly what we need.
Your voice will reassure her, your presence alone, behind your camera, is not enough.
Should you like to reserve a spot in one of our workshops, or if you’d like a one2one session on photographing women, please get in touch!
Lower you camera
We have said this already, but it is worth repeating this over and over again. While photographing women you need to create a relation with your subject, and if you want to develop it, you need to allow your subjects to see your face. Keep the camera away from your face as much as you can!