Photography is one of the hardest businesses to break into. There is speculation on why this is the case. Some people feel that the community is very elitist and others feel it is all about the quality of your camera. I’m a firm believer that the camera has very little to do with it. Sure having a great camera is important, but for the most part it’s really what or who you’re photographing that makes the difference. Most people that take pictures, just take a picture. They could take a picture of a sunset or of a married couple, but it’s just a picture. Those that are successful in this industry can develop an emotion, atmosphere and feeling associated with their pictures.
Sometimes it is tough to come up with things that are more than a picture. It’s very important that you photograph something you’re passionate about or felt. When you’re passionate you understand what is important and what it means. If you grew up on a farm, a photograph of a farmer on a tractor could be presented in such a way that the person looking at it can develop a connection. It is because you know what a farmer does that you can properly create that emotion and atmosphere in the picture.As a rule, you can typically work with colors to show emotion. Obviously bright colors symbolize a more upbeat and happy scene. A black and white picture would be for something on the dark side of emotions. Just image a picture of a goth girl sitting on a bright red bench with yellow dandelions in the grass around her. This image doesn’t fit. It’s just a picture because it doesn’t develop the important atmosphere that would go with “goth”. Imagine the same scene in black and white. This is a vast improvement, though not complete. Simple things like dead dandelions and maybe mascara running down her face would portray negative emotions and dark feelings, which is often associated with the “goth” community.
Lastly, if you’re working with a model (this does include ordinary people) you have to pose them. This is probably about the hardest thing you’ll have to do. The reason it’s tough is that posing isn’t natural. You require them to do something they wouldn’t normally do. Often it looks fake. Some of the best models and actors in the world can do this, but ordinary people like you and I have to make do with people who can’t pose naturally. The best advice on this subject I got from Photography Posing Secrets by Malcolm Boone. He has an entire book on the topic of posing. One of the best pieces of advice he gave was head tilting. Models get it in their head to look at the camera and face it completely. The head always needs to be tilted away from the camera. This adds to a unique pose that creates a more real vibe to those viewing the picture.