Why People Don't Like Photos of Themselves (Part Two)
Sep 4, 2019 | By: Allan Gojar
In the previous blog, we discussed about the unrealistic expectation that people place on themselves when they have their headshot photo taken, that it is not their job to make them look good but the photographer’s. This now leads us to the second reason.
Reason # 2: Past (often negative) Experience with a Photographer - Professional or Otherwise
In the past, the word photographer was a highly respected word, whose work was hardly questioned by the customers and quite frankly, is able to consistently churn out good work.
Nowadays, anyone can claim to be a photographer just by posting 'good' photos and generating heaps of likes on social media.
There are many cowboys out there, especially in the photography industry, where there are no barriers to entry. It is no wonder that trauma abounds when it comes to viewing photos. The result for the person on the photo: pessimism, distrust or taking matter into their hands, i.e., I have to learn how to pose and know what truly looks good for me.
It would be unfair for a non-professional photographer to fall in this category. Snaps taken during travels, parties or office functions – whoever took the photo has no responsibility to make everyone look good. Their only role was to push that button and make sure everybody is in frame. That’s it.
It is a different matter if that’s a paid photographer taking the photos. There is somehow an expectation. But when clients are given only a handful of clicks of the camera with no guidance from the photographer whatsoever, then it is already doomed from the start. The good looking ones may be able to pull it off, but the rest have no chance.
Our Response to Reason #2: Find the Time to Care
Admittedly, not all people are easy to photograph. Most people who have negative experiences with photographers are those people who didn't receive enough care from them. Let's take this client of ours as an example.
Before the shoot, he said he always ruins the family photo. I thought it was too much of an exaggeration. During the shoot, I started to believe him. However, I refused to succumb to that reasoning. Besides, we ALWAYS believe that everybody has a good side. The session took longer than normal, but in the end, I did find his good side and this changed his mind. Everybody was happy.
I have dealt with people easier or harder to photograph than him, who had the same dislike of their photos being taken. And there are a lot of them! The solution will always be to take the time to care for the client's need. When the time comes we lose that care, then it's time for me to pack up and leave the industry.