You’re about to do a photoshoot but you’re just not feeling it. What do you do? I mean, we’re all human; we have good days and bad days. But if you’ve committed to a photo shoot and you’re not feeling great, you probably still want to deliver if at all possible.
Photographers aren’t the ones in front of the camera; our body language and expressions aren’t in the frame. But we still have to bring positive, encouraging energy to the shoot. If you do portraiture, your subjects are looking to you for direction and feedback. Much of the success of a shoot rides on your mood and energy.
But what about the mood of your subject? What if she’s having a bad day? I’ve done several shoots with my friend, Allyson, and we always have a good time with it. But right before the start of one recent shoot, I could tell something was bothering her. I asked her if she was OK and she let me know she was dealing with a relationship issue. She also seemed surprised that I picked up on it.
We acknowledged what was going on and I asked if she still wanted to do the shoot. She was determined to continue; she’s got a very “the show must go on!” attitude. I generally try to roll with things as they are. If some of the emotion that was being felt was going to show up in the images, I wasn’t about to fight that. If we could get in a light moment here and there, that’s fine, too. With this shoot, there was no agenda except to get together and make some pictures.
Obviously, there are circumstances where forcing a photoshoot just doesn’t make sense. But none of us are immune to the challenges of real-life human drama. Working through the rough times shows you what you’re made of. For some of us it’s a matter of professionalism; you just do whatever needs to be done. You give the shoot what it needs to succeed. For artists, sometimes it’s not even a choice, and even creating in the midst of heartache is nothing new.
The following pictures were taken in Jersey City, NJ.