As a photographer, I find myself extremely comfortable behind the lens. In fact, if I see someone else pointing a camera in my direction, I tend to turn away, or duck behind someone or something. It’s definitely not my favorite place to be. But, knowing that to be a great photographer means stepping outside of the box, and putting yourself in places where you’re not extremely comfortable, learning to grow, I decided to get in touch with a friend of mine who’s an exceptional photographer, shooting people in their element, in studios, out on the road, even fishing in the middle of waist deep water.
Tom Winter and I met back in Boca Raton, Florida. He was the president of our HOA back when I was selling Real Estate, in fact, his house was my first listing. He and his beautiful family moved to Palm City, where he began to pursue his career as a corporate photographer. I sold Real Estate for two more years, and then took a leap of faith and moved to Reno, where I began pursuing a career in landscape photography. Now, the bad thing about landscape photography is that there are a lot of us. So, you’ve got to find you’re niche, create a style that’s all your own, and support yourself in the meantime.
Friends continually ask me to photograph their families, and I’ve found that it’s a great way to increase your visibility in the community, along with adding to your income. That’s where Tom comes in. His photos are gorgeous, so I asked him if he could show me how he sets up a photo shoot. He suggested photographing me, which would also help me understand how my subjects felt when the camera was pointed at them. He was brimming over with information as we drove down to the beach, sharing knowledge and giving me advice on what to buy and how to market my work. After our photo session on the beach in Palm City, I discovered his secret. It’s all about the light. Off camera lighting, natural lighting, maybe from a golden sunset or reflected light bouncing along the rocks, where there’s light, there’s magic. We shot for about an hour, before and after sunset, trying different Yoga poses, (my other passion), and thanks to Tom’s expertise, we had a lot of keepers, and one favorite. Which is all you need.
Tom asked me how it felt to be photographed, and I had to admit, I was a little nervous at first, but when I started moving, finding different poses, and forgot about the camera, it was a piece of cake. I learned that the best place for a photographer to be is almost out of sight, quietly shooting. And the best thing for your subjects is to let them be themselves. Give them something to do, to play with, to take their focus off of you. When you can successfully do that, you can really capture the person inside. And everyone can relax.