I've had the idea to have my portrait taken and experience the other side of the camera for a while now. I understood it would be beneficial to experience being the subject for once, however, I didn't anticipate just how much I would gain from it, not just from a photography perspective, but as a life experience.
1: Walking in your subject's shoes
Let's face it, for most people being in a portrait studio for the first time is not a comfortable experience. It's one hundred percent the photographer's job to break the subject out of any awkward feelings and that's one key ingredient to create a brilliant portrait.
Unless you know how it feels to be on the receiving end, it's extremely difficult to have empathy for the subject.
It would be really difficult to comfort a friend with a broken heart having not had your heart broken yourself, you wouldn't be able to relate to them, the same principle applies when photographing someone.
To relate is to connect, and without a strong connection between subject and photographer, you will not have strong portraits.
Photos by Image Technique Photography
2: Learn invaluable skills
To learn from other artists is something most aspiring photographers seek to do at the beginning of their career.
Usually this takes form in assisting a more established professional photographer on jobs that you currently wouldn't have the skills, access and confidence to shoot yourself.
If you keep working hard, eventually you start shooting your own clients and develop artistically.
You may be under the impression that, because you are having lots of success, that you no longer need to develop and that is never true. You will learn a lot by being the subject, trust me on this one.
"Life never stops teaching, be sure you never stop learning" - Michael Josephson.
3: You have never seen yourself
I know you're thinking I'm crazy because, of course, we all see ourselves in the mirror everyday. But allow me to explain:
During the viewing session, the photographer Philippe and I went through the portraits and culled them down to the final three images. One particular image got me. I felt like it represented so much of myself, however, I had never seen myself like that before.
"Portrait photography or portraiture in photography is a photograph of a person or group of people that captures the personality of the subject by using effective lighting, backdrops, and poses." - Source Wikipedia
Having felt like I have only seen my true self for the first time was a very emotion filled experience. It reminded me of dialogue from an old Zelda game I used to play as a kid.
So not only did I learn a lot, I also saw so much value in what I do as a photographer.
I could try to put it into words, but instead the image is below if you are curious of who I really am.
So there's my three reasons why I think portrait photographers should get shot!
Huge thank you to Philippe over at Image Technique Photography for taking my portraits.
Thanks for reading and I wish you all a very successful weekend.