Technology is a powerful thing, but it’s only as powerful as the user. A great camera is only as great as the person behind it. A skilled photographer can impress you with your own cell phone camera. We don’t cut off feet or heads, we set up the shot, we keep the horizon straight, we find the best angle on the light and the best angle on your body. Having a great camera is only the beginning. A hairdresser starts with a great pair of scissors – they pay more for those scissors than you or I ever would! But those scissors are useless without a trained pair of hands wielding them. That stylist could do it with dollar store scissors, too… it would be much more difficult and time consuming, but they could do it. See what I’m getting at here?
I often wonder how people decide on a photographer. And I look at photographers who are just slammed with business and wonder why their clients chose them. I realize that it’s probably a lot like the way I choose where to buy my computer…
You see, I am challenged in the realm of understanding how technology works. I can operate the programs efficiently enough, but what is RAM, exactly? And how much space is “enough”? And how fast is fast? I know what I want my computer to do and that’s about the extent of my computer knowledge. It needs to hold tons of pictures until I tuck them to bed in the Cloud. It needs to house all of the programs I need and use on a daily basis. It needs to be quick. SNAP, SNAP! I am NOT patient when it comes to waiting on something to load… or open… or whatever! Ugh! Come on… YOU know what I mean, right? That “circle of death” that tells me it’s working even though the screen stays the same? Yeah, that.
So I go into a store and must put my trust in the expert. I tell him what I need my computer to do and he points me in the right direction. But how do I know he’s an expert? What if I could do much better – get more for my money – from a different expert? How do I figure out who is going to do best by me?
More importantly, how do you know that YOUR photographer is an expert in the field?
If you’re not gifted with knowledge and a keen eye, you can still look at some very simple things to figure out if you’re at least going to get decent images and a worthwhile experience. Because let’s face it, the photographer isn’t the only one putting time and effort into this photo session! YOU are, too! You have to get people dressed, coordinated, out the door on time. You’re spending your time (which is irreplaceable) and energy trying to get the best images of yourself and your people. A lot of thought and effort goes into the whole process! You definitely don’t want to waste that by using someone who is less than awesome, right? (Unless you’re broke… then it’s better to get cheap images on a disc than to have nothing, right? There is Craiglist for that and I’m not judging.)
Without further ado, here are a FEW of the things you can look for when you examine images: horizons, color tones, composition, blurry faces, awkward body angles, and harsh light and shadows. Yes, of course there are many more things, but these are some you can spot pretty easily with very little knowledge. We’ll start with the first one...
Can you spot the difference in these two images?
Now that you see it, you will see it every time you look at this image… It’s that powerful.
Stay tuned! Color Tones is next on the blog!