What is the difference between photo takers and photo makers? As photographers, do we “take” a photo, being photo takers or do we “make” a photo, being photo makers. Moreover, what is the real difference between taking a photo and making one?
Remember that we are not talking about the difference between a photographer and a snapper, we remain in the realm of professional photographers. Photo makers or photo takers are not negative words, they are just two ways of photographing, two ways of being a photographer.
Do you want to know our take on the difference between photo takers and photo makers? And do you want to know why we consider ourselves both photo takers and photo makers? Lastly, what are the type of customers you attract being photo takers and which ones you do attract being photo makers?
Let’s clear the doubts over the quality of the definition “Photo Takers“. I am not looking to diminish the quality of photographers by saying they are photo takers. A Photo Taker is someone who can see the moments arriving, having the ability to capture it. Street photographers and photojournalists are the perfect examples of photo takers; they are able to tell a story without intruding, without posing or directing the subjects.
On the other side, there are the Photo Makers. They direct and poses their subjects in order to make the tight image. They don’t focus on the moment that develops, they build it. Prime examples of photo makers are newborn photographers, who know exactly how to manage a newborn, posing her head to toe.
Are you Photo Takers of Photo Makers
As we mentioned already, both Faby and I feel ourselves both photo takers and photo makers. Dissecting the reasons behind this statement may help you understand which one you are.
We started our journey in photography as street photographers. We loved strolling around London capturing the moments of unique day to day routine. Capturing those moments was challenging, as it required skills of observation and patience. We also love capturing the interaction amongst people. When we photograph families or couple, we tend to encourage the natural synergy amongst the people in the frame. We interact in a psychological way, avoiding direct directions whenever possible. We are Photo Takers, as we put the strength of our images in the natural moment we are able to capture.
From the other front, especially in our boudoir photography, we are able to pose a woman head to toes. Especially during the initial phases of a boudoir photo shoot, we direct our subjects a lot. This gives women confidence and allows us to put “in the bag” the shoots we know work well when posing women. We are photo makers, as we create an image in every detail.
Which style suits you best? Which style comes more natural to you? Do you want to be a journalist or a fiction writer?
Every style to their customers
If you have understood your style, then the next logical step in developing a photography business is to understand who you can serve with that style.
Photo Makers will find a great market in photographing people who need a lot of directions. Women who are in front of the camera for the first time, people who are generally stiff and those who are not at ease in front of the lens are looking for you. They need to be guided and they need reassurances that you are going to photograph them well. Boudoir and newborn photography are prime examples of this.
Photo Takers, on the other side, are perfectly suited to capture natural emotions. Personal interaction as a lifestyle family portrait, sport and action based portraits needs your skill. Those images cannot be faked, they need to be real to look real. Let the interaction be the prime subject of your photo, and you will get paid well for it. Documentary wedding photographers are in pole position for this category.
How do we combine being Photo Makers and Photo Takers?
Merging the ability of making a photo and taking a photo is, in our opinion, a winning element for a working photographer. Being able to do both will give you the benefit of using the one that better suit your customers. But let’s not beat around the bush, and let me give you few examples.
When we shoot boudoir we start being photo makers, posing women quite a lot; however, towards the end of the session, when our clients are more relaxed, when they start moving with their own natural movements, then we switch to a photo takers approach, as this will give our clients the ability to see themselves in the images.
Obviously being in two photographers, we have the advantage of splitting us between the two styles. If you work with another photographer or with an assistant, you can make sure that one focuses on making a shoot while the other focuses on taking more natural images.
Photo Takers or Photo Makers; Which one is easier?
There is no answer to this question. The reality is that both have difficulties and both are arts that need to be learned and mastered. Finding one easier than the other ha also a lot to do with who you are and what you like. Don’t forget that to be a good photographer, you need to be passionate about what you do. Are you passionate about photo makers or photo takers?