Photographing People Is ALWAYS About Relationships – A blog post based on conversations with photographers.
The photographer’s relationship with those being photographed
When we’re photographing people we tend to have a couple of approaches. One approach is where we control our subjects by posing them. The other approach we is where people “pose” themselves. In comparison, the second approach requires that we give up control and respond to the people we are photographing in a spontaneous manner. Personally, I don’t like posing people. I let people “pose” themselves. I feel that when we pose people they become very self-conscious and that “self-consciousness” leads to a body language that looks “forced” or “stiff”.
The relationships of the people being photographed (Relationships within groups of people.)
Groups of people have their own relationships within the group. To clarify what I mean by “group”, a group to me is anything more than one. As examples, there are groups that relate in a personal ways, such as families or other relationships that are personally intimate. In contrast, there are groups that are related by an “impersonal” relationship, such as groups of coworkers. My approach to photographing groups, whether they personal groups or impersonal groups is the same as my approach to individuals. I’m not gonna pose ’em. Instead they can pose themselves and I’ll respond accordingly in terms of the photograph that I create.
Photographing People Is ALWAYS About Relationships
We have relationships with the people we photograph. I think that a good “people picture” shows us what someone looks like. However, I think that an EXCELLENT people pictures reveals what someone IS like. For instance, if we pose people our ability to relate with people in order to give them direction is paramount. On the other hand, if our approach to photographing people is to let them “pose themselves” then we need the ability to adapt to whatever circumstances arrive in the moment of them “posing”.
Here’s some examples of my approach to photographing people.
You can see more here–>https://samdamico.photoshelter.com/gallery/All-Photographs/G0000Wh1dQQiGM24/C00009AuW1W0aL3g