We are constantly learning new ways to see this world and the people that live in it.
As a photographer, I try to find something delicate and charming in everyone around me. It has helped me to create stories throughout my photography experience. My stories help the viewer to discover a significant part of the life of my clients. I don’t really like the word – clients, because all my clients are heroes to me.
It’s not easy for them to loosen up and be themselves on a photoshoot, but the preparation process and my attention to detail help my heroes to find the courage and go on an adventure with me! I have been on a long journey to discover my photography style, so I hope this article will save you time and effort and inspire you to find your own way.
Changing Photography Style
Five years ago, I realized that I absolutely wanted to change my style.
I wanted to create family stories where I could capture life as it is with all its small human moments of connection that we all have. You can use the popular term lifestyle photography to describe this style of photography. But my definition for this is a proactive reportage about the life of each individual family. This is the style I wanted to develop for myself.
I made a plan to spend a few months online looking at pictures of professional family photographers. This was a fascinating experience and a very effective one. I took many notes about pictures I liked. I was constantly asking myself, what would I do differently? What techniques would I use? For example, I fell in love with black and white editing. It helps the viewer to concentrate more on emotions rather than to be distracted by colorful textures of the world. But that is how my vision for family photography was formed. Then I was able to take the next step forward.
How to take the first step in family photography
So, if you’re just starting out as a photographer or you’re the experienced one, and you want to explore family photography, you have to know what style is the closest to your heart. This article is about how to take the first step to become a family photographer. The path I took is universal and may apply to any photographer’s journey.
Decide On Style
Once you decide on the style, you need to share your new creative vision online. It will generate new opportunities to reach a bigger audience! Your work needs to appear on social media, you need to show the world that you are a photographer whose strong passion is story-telling. To make this happen, you must find families that will trust you with their stories. And by that I mean that you need to do Time For Print photoshoots (TFP/TFCD photoshoots). Your friends may help you or you can try to find an opportunity to work with bloggers.
By the way, don’t expect that if you share your old portfolio, you will be able to find families that will be up for photoshoots in your new style. If you want people to trust you, you need to show the result first. That is why it is vastly important to do TFP photoshoots first.
You may ask, why should I shoot for free? Because when you shoot for money, you feel obligated, and you will try to please your customers. It will be a barrier to fully reveal your creative potential. You have to use one hundred percent of your internal resources. Remember, that your job is to create the perfect portfolio that will reveal the entirety of your artistic vision.
If you are an aspiring photographer, I recommend doing about ten TFP photoshoots. If you are an advanced photographer, you may need just three. The most important thing for you is to make photoshoots until you will achieve the perfect result! Believe me, it works!
Achieve “Your” Perfect Photos
I know, perfection is a very subjective word, each person has a different standard for that. But, if you know your style, and you know the success stories of other photographers, and you know how your pictures may look like, and you have a feeling how they should look, then you will achieve this perfection in your photography.
Your potential clients will guess that you are a successful photographer and your photos about family life come from the heart once you update your portfolio. It’s not an easy path, but it’s worth it. People will be drawn to you and they will want to be a part of your creativity on commercial terms. You will quickly cover your expenses for TFP photoshoot.
It is vital to understand what type of family you would like to shoot? You need to create an image of this family to the smallest detail! How many family members are there? What do mom and dad look like? How many children do they have? You will be surprised, but this thorough read on your imaginary family will work like magic! In a few months, you’ll notice families that are similar to the ones in your portfolio will start following you on social media. It’s funny how things can turn out. I bet you’ll catch yourself thinking that you’ve been working with the same dad with the same beard over and over again for a few months now.
TFP Photoshoot Purpose
Your potential clients were inspired by your TFP photoshoots. They already see the pictures they will get by working with you, that’s why they are already confident in the result. It means they believe in you, and that means that you will have complete self-confidence! You just create and don’t worry about a thing! When that relaxation and focus comes to you, then you always create excellent photos for your clients.
The photo you see above is the result of my first TFP photoshoot. I had this picture stuck in my head.
It was about a family in a café in Spring, and I am a kind of a silent observer of their life. I was lucky enough to find such family that shared my enthusiasm. What I did was I just let them have a usual coffee break at the cafe. Dad was busy with the toddler, the eldest child was drawing something, and the mother was just enjoying herself on a breezy afternoon.
There was nothing fake about their experience. I was shooting them from a great distance and let them be themselves.
They practically forgot I was there.
That is how I was able to catch this shot. And because it was not a commercial shoot, guys wanted to help me out on every scene and did everything I asked for. It helped me find families that shared the joy of life with me, and families that could have fun with me for a few hours.