It is very important to establish a relationship with the person you photograph. After all, you are the one exposing them to the world in a different light. This job was very simple. I was asked to do a head shot by a client and friend. I spent a short half hour talking to and photographing Tony, the son of my client.
Of course there was tension. I barely knew Tony and he barely knew me. The best way to break it is to be casual and play off that tension. Tony doesn't like having his photographs taken and I like taking artsy photographs. Both of us were in a position doing something we wouldn't seek out in our own time. By playing off that knowledge and of course not complaining about it, we both worked together and made some photographs that got the job done and then some.
It is all about keeping an upbeat attitude about it. I could have been a grumbling photographer but that would have stressed out the client. Tony could have been a downer the whole time and made my life a living hell. Because I do love photography, which is why I am in this field, I did the work for the sake of creation. Because he loves his mother dearly, he did this for her. Maybe he wanted his photos taken. Most men won't admit to that...
Remember be direct with the subject you are photographing. Be attentive to their needs as well. They might be thirsty, tired, or have something on their mind. I kept blabbing the whole time. There is a benefit to working as a photographer–you can talk your mouth off. Don't talk too much though! No one wants a nervous talker...
The biggest ice-breaker was when Tony and his mother saw my studio setup. They both laughed! I don't blame them. My equipment is nowhere near top-of-the-line and it all looks a bit rag-tag. Until I can get more professional-looking equipment, $10 duct tape, $5 bed sheets, $13 travel tripods, and hand-me-down stands will have to do.
It's all about being creative with what you have. Crying over what you don't have as an excuse for not being able to make a good photograph is a sign of a lazy person. Of course I want better equipment. Who doesn't? If I can't make a good photograph with what I have, I am not deserving of newer equipment. Remember that fellow readers an friends.
Here are the photographs.
Here was the setup for the indoor photographs.