When talking through shoot details with clients, I try to ask pretty specific questions about their personality, focus, and interests, and listen for keywords to help me “get them.” I want to know my clients pretty well before they step in front of my camera. When I take a portrait, I am, in essence, defining an aspect of that person… and I want to define them accurately. Sometimes, in the course of that initial conversation, I find it helpful to come up with a theme for our shoot. Themes can provide good structure and direction, and serve my clients well by giving them something to focus on and interact with during the shoot. I mean, let’s be honest— it’s a little nerve-wracking to be in front of the camera. I’m a big fan of anything that helps my clients relax and get real.
When it came to Jack & Jessica’s after-wedding shoot, we already had a good mutual trust established from time together (meetings, engagement session, and wedding), so a theme wasn’t necessary to relax them, but we decided it would be helpful for focus and structure, anyway. We knew that the key point would be the jumping-off-the-dock shot, but other than that, it was free space and time. Which can get awkward. What to do before? What to do afterward? I’m a pretty big fan of planning, so I came up with an inspiration board, sent it to them for review and feedback, and we went from there. The result? Well, you saw it last week, but if you missed it, take a peak at it here.