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Great holmertz 2014-01-14 12:43

Hello André,
An amusing title for a good photo. A frendly looking man posing proudly with the products of his hard work. I read your comment on how many pictures you take at a time like this. I have worked some times with extremely talented press-photographers and have marvelled at the number of pictures they take, maybe a hundred just to get one brilliant shot, but it must be very difficult to spend so much time with totally unaccustomed models without making them bored or nervous. Isn't it?
Kind regards,

Old 01-14-2014, 10:02 PM
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InasiaJones InasiaJones is offline
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Default To holmertz: Bored subjects

Hi Gert,

Interesting to read your story about your colleague who would take a hundred of shots of the same subject, and for sure, he was facing a challenge to keep the interest of his subjects. Actually, I would get bored myself after forty...

But by taking only a dozen, at most twenty under certain circumstances, it is easily workable and time flies for the subject and the photographer. It's all about creating a pleasant dynamic with the subject, showing genuine enthusiasm, and for the 2 or 3 minutes spent with that person, making him realize how interesting he is for you.

If I feel that a subject isn't comfortable after 4 or 5 frames, and that I believe I didn't get the shot, I would stop shooting and show him the result, creating the contact again, without the camera in-between, and letting him know that I want to represent him in the most favorable way. With a bit of luck and acceptance, I would then continue to shoot, keeping the connection by talking to the person if I feel he is getting out of the moment.

So it's about creating a connection at the very first contact, not hesitating one second to approach a subject once your intuition tells you that this person have something unique, communicating at a human level, always being friendly, treating him with consideration and respect, and demonstrating a keen interest, like if you would have found a diamond on the sidewalk. If the person you want to photograph feel the importance he represents for you, he will never want to deceive you and will offer you the best of himself.

By connecting at an emotional level, the experience goes beyond to simply photograph someone, and as a photographer, I think it is our responsibility to make the person comfortable. Above all, is to create a moment of fun, an exchange that will be as memorable as possible.

The only persons who are bored being photographed are the celebrities, and the only one getting nervous are the criminals... With all the others, it's most of the time a wonderful experience.

Thanks Gert for your kind words and comments.



Last edited by InasiaJones; 01-14-2014 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:19 AM
holmertz holmertz is offline
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Hi Andre,

Thanks for taking your time to write such a long and interesting reply.

If I spent half an hour interviewing someone, a keen and ambitious photographer would have plenty of time to take a hundred pictures from every possible angle, capturing every gesture without boring that person with posing for maybe more than a couple of minutes at the end.

The other day I saw a documentary on a famous Swedish photographer who has taken portraits of a great number of local and global celebrities. He described how the Swedish minister for foreign affairs invited him to his office when he was receiving Nelson Mandela in 1990, on Mandela's first visit abroad after getting out of prison. He showed the photos, how they evolved during the session, both of them being nervous at the beginning. Mandela was a celberity but he hadn't had his photo taken like this for nearly 30 years .

Gradually the ice was broken, the foreign minister was instructed how to hold the lamp better , and the pictures steadily improved until finally, at the very end, he managed a portrait that ended up on the cover of Time.


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