30 Mar Why artists? Why not?
A few days ago I was laying on the floor and, with the camera in my hand, trying to “hunt” my friend’s cats. I’m not a pet photographer, this was the first time I got a paid session dedicated to cats. This friend of mine knew my work and even if this was not my specific field, she asked me if I could make an exception and for once point my camera not at a person but at her furry, wonderful and fluffy kitties.
In the end, while I was trying to take off tons of white cats hairs from my black shirt, she asked me “why you choose to photograph just artists? You’ll do good also as a pet photographer.”
So I thought: this could be an interesting subject for my first blog post: let’s answer to this question!
When photography for me was just a hobby and a matter of study (I needed just to go around and exercise) I didn’t think too much about the subject itself. I used to take my camera and producing a few good pictures and tons of boring, basic and lame ones.
Some years later, when I decided to become a professional, I’ve to face the problem: “granted that I love photography, what I like to shoot?”
Specialization is important on many levels. Marketing wise is essential. If somebody looks for a wedding photographer he won’t call me, but if a band want new pictures for their upcoming tour my name, hopefully, will come out. Labels are a bit easier for clients, plus you get to know all the tricks you need for that particular field. For example, I know how to pose a music band but I don’t know how to deal with a cat that doesn’t want to sit where the light is better.
To arrive to understand that artists were my favourite subjects, it took a while. I run after children during birthday parties; I posed families trying to deal with grumpy teenagers; I shoot the products for a shop facebook page; I got super-bored during corporate parties; I enjoyed trying out some fashion shoots to promote scarves. Most of these experiences were really good, but I had the urge to answer THE QUESTION: “where I want to specialize?”
Then they came: musicians!
I suddenly understood how much I loved to work with them. It’s a challenge because my aim is to try to understand their music in order to show it into the pictures. It’s not easy and maybe I didn’t always nail it, but this is the good part of specializing: now when I study I know what to look for. I research other musicians pictures, ideas for band posing and I also often consult a book of “history of music” in order to understand better thegenre my client is playing. Portrait, of course, is the technique I need to refer to, photography talking.
The reason why I love to work with musicians is that there is an exchange that re-fill my photography and my mind as well. The creativity of these people influences mine and that, for me, is something bigger than just taking pictures. Plus it gives me the possibility to listen to different kind of music which I always appreciate.
At this point, I thought: why don’t open up to creative people in general, to artists?! How much could I learn? Painters, actors, models, storytellers, musicians and creative entrepreneurs are my favourite target. I love to meet my client before the photo-shooting not just to discuss the technical aspects, but above all because I want to know more about the person I’ve in front, which kind of work he/she is doing, what kind of artist I’m talking to; I want to listen to their music or look at their paintings. I’m not just meeting a client, I’m meeting a story of creativity and I’ve to bring this into the photo-shoot.
So why artists? Why not?!
Ps: I wouldn’t be a bad pet photographer after all…