Boudoir - lingerie woman in satin chair Copyright Mark Laurie, InnerSpiritPhoto.com Inner Spirit Photography

Do You Want To Be Photographed By A God, A Voyeur Or A Collaborator?

If you strip away style, cameras used. plus their PR then all photographers approach their craft from three core viewpoints. There is the God, The Voyeur and the Collaborator. Each can create powerful images that move people, are dazzling and creative. Only one will work best for you.

Here is how you can identify which type a photographer yours is and if their approach will work for you. It’s not that any approach is bad; it’s more a question of which one is best for you.

The God.

The God photographer assumes the mantle of knowing best. Sometimes called the visionary or director, this style of photographer has decided the best way to photograph you or has existing concepts they need a certain subject to fit into. They assume total control of the photo shoot and resulting image. To a degree you become a mannequin in the process, not necessarily in a bad way, especially if you like giving up control.

While you can find this approach with new and emerging photographers the approach is most usually seen in photographers with a solid reputation. They are usually found in fine art work where they can bring their vision out fully formed. They are comfortable with their ego and approach. Their work is usually visually arresting and startling. You might not see yourself in their images but they can explain the connection.

They usually do not create a large range of images, settling on one or two defining creations they see as your essence.

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The Voyeur.

They are easily the most common. They are often a transition stage since most beginning photographers are not experienced enough to both have a vision and be able to execute it. Essentially, they direct you to just move while they capture your fluid essence. The really good ones achieve wonderful awards for their photojournalistic style. You will also find many in the model portfolio field, where models skilled at moving and expressing fleeting emotions fit nicely into their approach.

They take a lot of images, knowing that most won’t work but that a gem will be found. Often, there is a feeling they are nearly shooting video there are so many frames to choose from. There is a feeling of spontaneity to their images. There may be bothersome elements or odd body part positions but they are comfortable with those aspects if the whole generally expresses who you are.

You might feel uncertain or awkward in the process if you don’t have much experience in front of a lens. You may not be sure what they are actually capturing in the session. These photographers are often overly enthusiastic during the session with their words of encouragement.

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The Collaborator.

I must first admit this is the arena I am most comfortable in. There is nearly always a meeting before a session; Collaborators explore what is important to you, your concerns and the ideas or images that appeal to you. We get a sense of who you are along with your purpose for the image creation. Everyone has a why; we also ask why now?

We are looking for subtle things that will make your image story unique to you. Often these subtle inclusions in the image will be lost on the casual viewer but become hidden Easter eggs to those who know you.

Your session is shaped and changes with your input, which is sought out. We become very attuned to picking up on the subtleties of your personality. We start out posing you from your natural positions then refine the nuances. We coax emotional expressions out of you that make sense to your pose.

We are adaptable. If a person experienced in camera work becomes fluid in front of our lens we let them go with it, offering refinements to their intent relative to the lighting/lens combination we are working with. If someone is relying on us for a big vision we can create that nearly solo but still gather clues from our client that guides the shape of the vision along with the included elements.

Collaborators usually create a wider range of images, moods, and expressions in their sessions. Usually we are trying to capture the scope of your personality; with your sensibilities and values emerging. We build on your excitement of being part of the process even when you don’t see yourself as creative or have a firm vision or creative approach. We make it an absorbing delight, where you feel very special, where it ignites your confidence.

Often we see a reshaped self-image because of this approach.

Ask your potential photographer probing questions on the process of how some of their display images came to be. Look for the clues in the image and their conversation to reveal what their approach is. Most photographers have not thought of themselves by these definitions but asking how they approach posing you, how they develop their visions will reveal them.

Once you find a photographer whose approach matches your needs and personality, go with their flow. It will be a wonderful ride.

If you like my approach, call me, I would be delighted to create something amazing with you.

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Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.