All posts by mattpuk83

The Right Clients

One of the best things about photography is when you get a great client who you just (mind the pun) click with. When both your goals are the same and they take your opinions on board it can make the experience a rewarding one for both of you.

Finding the right clients is as important to me as it is for the client to find the right photographer. There needs to be some chemistry between you, a mutual interest in seeing the best possible outcome.

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Like most good photographers I want to take the best possible photographs that I can. But I have a style and one that I like to see in my photos. These are generally closer, more intimate shots. I prefer slightly unready poses rather than ridged staged ones. I look for honesty instead of the fake glam that permeates our social media obsessed world.

The perfect photograph for me is one that either shows an unguarded moment of the client or one where we have created a sort of magic that can be hard to describe in words but can certainly be felt my those that look upon the image.

I had the please to shoot with Dominic on Sunday (24/08/16) and it was a great day for us both. Exploring the shores of London’s Thames River and finding unique spots to get his fitness portfolio shots was both challenging and enjoyable for us both. Especially when we found some older docks.

Often with fitness clients, I will ask them to work out if they are wanting “action shots”. That way they get their head into the workout and forget about the camera. The best shots are captured in this way and the client is always happy with the results. Whereas with fitness model clients, I will pose them but the best shots will be when they are posing the least and those tend to be the shots I use.

All in all, I can’t stress enough the importance of looking at your photographer’s previous work to see their style. While a client is paying for a service, a good photographer will see their work as art and so want to show their style and creativity in them. Treat your photographer well and you will have memories to last a lifetime.

 

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Shooting Love

I find weddings both beautiful and daunting to shoot. No matter how many you do, there is always the stress you put yourself under. This applies to be quite a lot to me, as I always want to look beyond the “staged” shots and find those natural ones that really speak of the emotion of the day.

Even when looking at my portrait sessions I feel the same. I spend a lot of time trying to get to know the client so that I can have them feel at ease as much as myself. Because a photographer who is not comfortable is generally not going to be using the creative part of themselves that could mean the difference between “ok” photos and the ones that blow you away.

 

I think investing the time with your clients, getting to know their goals for the photos you will take, really can pay dividends. Both for the client and the photographer.

So when trying to capture the love shown between two people who are prepared to spend the rest of their lives together, you should spend a little of yours with them. If they relax, the photos benefit and so do you.

Photography with Kids

I’ve worked with kids in various capacities since I was 16. From holiday camps to teaching in the classroom, you can say that in the last 17 years I’ve picked up a trick or two.

First rule, don’t talk down to them. A kid can pick up your phony intentions quicker than a significant other can smell the alcohol on our breath when you come home from “working late”.

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Talk to them like the little people they are! We’re talking about kids here, not babies or young toddlers. By the time they get to around 3 years old, that’s a little person you have there and within about three minutes they are going to decide if you’re worth their time or not.

Welcome to the real Dragons Den!

So when photographing kids I usually arrive and say hello to the parents and throw a couple of smiles to the kids. Then I leave them alone. I’ll sit down and if the parents are nice I’ll have a cup of tea with them and just chat generally. All the time I am not actively talking to the kids, but I’ll catch their eyes now and then with a smile on my face.

After about ten minutes they’ll probably either start joining in with the conversation or be playing. If they get into the conversation then you’re already in and you can start asking some questions about them. What year are they in at school? What’s their favourite subject? Which avenger/my little pony is their favourite? Do they want to see your camera?

If they are playing, 9 times out of 10 it will be in the same room as you. Take a look at what they are playing with and ask about it. Is it there favourite? Did they get it for their birthday or for being good? Would they like you to take a photo of it or another toy? Would they like to take the photo?

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The aim of all this is to make your camera seem normal to them and not some foreign object that’s going to be watching them and making noise. Some kids are pretty nervous.

Don’t be afraid to let them have a little (supervised) play with your camera. How about taking some shots of mummy or daddy? This is probably your most effective way of getting them on side. Because if mummy and daddy can do it then surely they can.

Winning an older sibling over can bring the younger ones across to easier and they become your assistant throughout the shoot, corralling the younger ones and helping them to pose or stay in shot. Maybe even being rewarded by being allowed to take a couple of shots themselves.

I detest really posed shots for kids. I prefer to let them get on with being kids and try to capture the essence of their youth and innocence while they play and explore. Of course some parents want the “standard” pose for their kids.

In these cases I let the kids play and get what shots I can. Then I get everyone into position for the “required” shots and then let them go quickly back to play. If the parents want quite a few I will break it up with play time in between the shots.

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My last tip is, don’t ask the kids to laugh or smile, make them. Fake smiles look awful. When a kid is having a really good time its easy to see and makes for beautiful pictures. Tell a joke, make a funny face or have them say a silly word. Anything to make them giggle a little and have fun with you.

The results you get from the bit of effort at the beginning and end of the shoot will be well worth it!

Seeking Inspiration

I am extremely lucky to live in a city like London.

With the vast amount of history, modern developments and diverse cultures it is never hard to find something new to snap a picture of. But finding true inspiration that goes beyond pointing and shooting can be much harder.

Certainly I always feel like I want to continue to develop my vision of how I look at the world through my lens. This can put real pressure on you when you are looking for something new to “one up” your last great photo.

When I go out to do Street Photography during perhaps four to five hours I shoot anywhere from 200-500 pictures on average. This depends on so many factors including available subjects, mood, time of the week and confidence. But perseverance can win through. As can studying others photography.

Even as an experience Street Photographer I can still get nervous when trying to take photos of strangers. As I am drawn to human interaction naturally it can be even more daunting when I try to capture someone else’s intimate moment. But it’s such a great training tool for when you shoot with clients. Your confidence with them will increase and your ability to direct them will seem second nature.

So if you are finding it hard to find inspiration either look at others work to find what you like and don’t. Or just get out in the street and shoot, let the inspiration find you.

Street Photography

So one of my great loves in photography is Street Photography. I love capturing the everyday actions of people. Whether that’s shopping, drinking coffee or anything else that catches my eye.

The real draw for me is that Street Photography isn’t posed. Don’t get me wrong, some posing is necessary. Especially with certain types of portraiture. But nothing makes me sadder than seeing what should have been a great shot posed badly.

Being a Street Photographer can make you fearless when going for that perfect shot. This is especially helpful when shooting weddings photos.

Wedding photography is not for the faint of heart! You sometimes have to battle your way past all the family and friend’s iphones, ipads and other gadgets to get YOUR shot for the Bride and Groom.

I love black and white photos, and rarely like to do colour for Street Photography. Black and white just helps to capture pure emotion when there is so much distraction. Taking colour out of a picture can really change the whole feel of it, as can the ratio of black to white.

If you’re interested in Street Photography there is no better time to start than now! Whether you have a DSLR, Bridge camera or your phone. Just start snapping!

You’ll be surprised what you will capture.

New Site

Very excited to have moved and hopefully improved our website so that it is able to grow more organically as we move through 2016 and beyond. With clients start to make bookings already, 2016 is shaping up to be a really busy year ahead.

We’re especially excited about the Weddings we will be photography this year!

Remember, our aim is help you remember not just what happened on the day but to help you capture the emotions as well. While some very nice group shots are the standard, we’re more attuned to the smaller moments between those involved. The moments that express the true emotion of the day.

If you’re interested in booking us for Portraits, Weddings or other events then please contact us at matt@mattpuk.com