To Create or To Capture?

Which type of portrait photographer are you? Do you create portraits or capture them?

Why does it matter which you are? So you can feel cool.

Really, you need to feel confidence in your images. If you decide what type of photography is satisfying to you, then you can pursue it and not feel like you have to imitate someone else’s style just because she received 20 “likes” for her picture on Facebook.

Characteristics of a creator:

  • This type of photographer knows her way around Photoshop! She can take even a blah picture and turn it into a piece of art using fun post-processing effects like popped or muted colors, golden tints, “urban acid” look, etc.
  • Her approach to photography is to create. She make’s an artistic scene to place subjects in and even uses the subject to display art. For example, babies in crocheted hats, girls in tutus, flowers in girl’s hair, babies in like baskets or baby carriages.

I’ve noticed a lot of creators started with scrapbooking. But who wants to scrapbook ugly pictures? So, they learned photography.

Characteristics of a capturer:

(Yes, I know “capturer” sounds awkward. If you can think of a better name, leave a comment!)

  • Her approach to a portrait is “how can I capture what is here and what I feel?”
  • Post-processing is used to enhance the image while keepin’ it real.

Whichever type of photographer you are, the important thing is to stay true to your values as a photographer and what brings you satisfaction. If you spend time perfecting your style, wherever it may be on the spectrum, you will attract the right clients for you.

What if you really want to “create” a portrait but you don’t think that way naturally?

The key to styling is just taking the people, the clothing, and the setting and turning them into a consistent feel and look to get what you want.

Hire a stylist for your shoot. There are people with talents who can help you create a style. Then you supply your talent with lighting and photography to create a phenomenal portrait.

What if you really pictures that capture, but you can’t seem to get your portrait right unless it’s well-planned?

A lot of it comes naturally, but if you continue studying the fundamentals of photography (shooting in manual mode, composition, lighting, etc.), you will become more adept at being prepared to capture the moments around you.

How do you improve on what you do?

Keep learning and looking at other people’s work. There are lots of forums where other photographers will share their step-by-steps for images. Just make sure you still stay true to what brings you satisfaction as an artist or you’ll never feel good about your work. Don’t let other’s images make you feel inadequate. Just be inspired and keep clickin’!

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