People do not like having their photo taken, a generalisation to be sure, but a surprisingly accurate one. I think the most common conversation I have with people when they find out I am a photographer is some form of “I am not photogenic” or “I hate having my photo taken.”
Personal image is an interesting concept. When showing a girl photos from a recent shoot, her favourite images were very different from mine. The ones that I thought best showed her personality, and made her look, in my eyes, the most beautiful, were the ones that she didn’t think looked like her and she didn’t like how she looked.
The images that were most beautiful were also the ones that seemed to lack any emotive feel and failed to show her personality as I knew it. So while being beautiful pictures, to me, they lacked the content to ever make great portraits.
Maybe it’s my background in commercial photography or my desire to move more into photojournalism that creates a lack of satisfaction & completion by a photo made purely to please the subject. While I want people to ‘love’ their photos, I struggle to create those photos unless I ‘love’ them too. Does this make me a bad photographer, or even a bad person? What do I do when my idea of beauty doesn’t align with yours? How do I stay true to myself, my training and my creatively and still make people happy?
Well that’s my thoughts for a Thursday morning, and just to clarify, I don’t like having my photo taken either……