Take Both Shots
This week's lesson is something that I learned the hard way. Very early in my photography career I made the mistake of listening to my client rather than my heart, and almost got burned for it. In case you hadn't guessed from the title this blog entry is about taking both shots.
This can be an extremely fine line to walk. On one hand, the client knows what they want (in theory), but they hired you for your creativity and vision. If you have the time, and sometimes the time is literally less than a second, take both what the client wants, and what you think should be done.
I can think of one time in particular, where I was about to take a shot the way I thought it would look best, and the client told me that they wanted something else. Not a problem, they're the client right? Lo and behold when I'm done with the initial editing process, the client wasn't as happy with that shot as they thought they would be. When I mentioned to them what I had been thinking about doing at the time I got, "Ooh...that would've looked good."
Does that mean I didn't put my all into the shot that the client wanted? Quite the opposite actually. I thought the client had a clear vision of what they wanted and I wanted to make the client happy, ergo I did my best to do just that.
Part of it is confidence. Growing up I was never particularly confident in myself. In fact I still question myself most times, even when I shouldn't. I can honestly tell you that after that incident when things like this come up I will usually tell the client, tactfully, that I will be happy to do the photos as they request, but I would appreciate the opportunity while we have it to take the photo as I see it too. Usually there's no further discussion.
Now granted taking both shots is a lot easier now than it was in my grandfather's time. In his time it would have involved many, many rolls of film. Now...it's a lot easier to keep a spare SD Card on you than 5 extra rolls of film if necessary.
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