To Pose or Not to Pose, That is the Question.

“Thursday Thoughts” will be weekly posts of thoughts about photography and related ideas. Today’s post is about how I approach photography. Let me know if there are any topics you’d like to read about in my “Thursday Thoughts” posts.

The way I see it, there are two basic approaches to photography. In the first, the photographer is the initiator; he uses his subject as a means to express the creativity inside him. I admire many photographers who take this approach; the art they create is amazing and beautiful. But it simply isn’t me. I’m just not wired to work that way.

In the second approach, the photographer is more of a responder who interacts with the uniqueness of his subjects. Inspiration and creativity are fueled by what or who is being photographed. Creative ideas flow and something almost magical happens when the photographer and the subject connect. That’s definitely how I roll. I didn’t even realize I was creative until I started focusing on the individuality of the great people I got to photograph rather than positioning them “right.” Once I changed my gaze, the ideas haven’t stopped coming. Having a feel for who my clients are, what they value, and what makes them unlike anyone else affects my composition, location, and even artistic enhancement choices.

I am a portrait journalist. Portrait journalism (not an original title) is a hybrid of photojournalism and portraiture, and I think it fits in great with my approach to photography. True photojournalism doesn’t stop the action–ever. Portraiture doesn’t capture the action–ever. Capturing action, laughs, reactions, and spontaneity combined with a little posing, primping, and positioning creates a complete view of the people being photographed.

My husband, Brian, who is a writer, always says that “showing” is better than “telling,” so here are a few images from a wedding that “show” the beauty of photojournalism and portraiture combined. Three of these images were “posed” the rest were captured as they happened.

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