Which skill set in photography was difficult for you to acquire? Lighting? Or was it something about “how to think while shooting”? Example, what to look for once you’re on location and shooting?
When I was in college, I was envious of some of the other students work. I studied what they were shooting but I couldn’t put my finger on why certain images were so good and how they shot them.
There was a big hurdle I needed to jump, but I didn’t know what it was.
When talking with my professors Dave LaBelle one day, he helped me pinpoint what I was missing and how to achieve it. I was missing that intimacy which draws a viewer into the image.
As I studied the work of some of the great photographers of today, I started noticing what I was doing wrong. Although I was an open fearless guy, I would build a wall between my subjects and me. This wall was just psychological and had nothing to do with the subject. What I was doing was creating the invisible wall.
I was thinking things such as “They don’t want their photo taken,” “They don’t want me to bother them,” “This photo is not going to be good.” Thoughts that prevented me from allowing myself to get close, and therefore create a sense of intimacy with the subject.
So to counter this, I made myself shoot with nothing but a wide angle (24mm) lens for a week. This forced me to get close. It forced me to see that at least 95% of my subjects didn’t care, and were rather flattered, about being photographed.
After that, everything seemed to come together.
What should aspiring photographers be learning to do besides using their cameras daily?
In today’s world, self promotion is the key to success. You can be the best shooter in the world, but if no one out there knows about you, your not going to get any work.
Be present all the time. On your favorite social media sites, get into conversations, start conversations, and take the time to acknowledge those which respond.
Study business practices of the more successful photographers. What are they doing? How are they doing it? Learn how to run a business and promote yourself.
Again, being the best shooter in the world but keeping quiet will not land you any work
Once again, I’d like to thank Pablo for sharing his wonderful images and insight.
If you like any of his images, I encourage you to go to Pablo Conrad’s website and purchase a print.
Photographer Pablo Conrad amazing imagery
Peter Phun Photography
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