Learning…Adapting What Works!

A younger photographer recently emailed me and asked for my opinion about his clientele.  He said his market was very competitive, however he saw a niche for himself in photographing women in their forties who wanted a beautiful portrait, but were not up for a boudoir or glamour session.  He explained that he had purchased all my books and most of the portraits were of younger, senior age people, since that is what we specialize.  He wondered how he should pose and light the more mature woman.  He said these woman had already done senior portraits and didn’t want them complaining that the style of his portraits  looked, “Seniorish”.

Is there really any difference between a portrait a beautiful 17 old woman and a beautiful 40 year old woman?  While there are certain poses and ideas that are specific to any group, like high school seniors, the majority of posing and lighting ideas are shared and adapted from every type of photography.  Many of the poses I use on seniors I first saw used in Boudior and Wedding photography.  The poses are the same, however the senior doesn’t have on a wedding dress or lingerie, they have on age and event appropriate clothing, but the basic idea is the same.  For years photographers have wondered why they see me at wedding seminars and classes on fashion and boudior, when I specialize in high school seniors.  The key to learning isn’t waiting until someone has prepackaged something specifically to what you do, it learning from many different sources and adapting them to work for you!

I learned about  seeing clients in an effective way, while reducing the amount of time I personally must spend with each client  from my Doctor. I learned about accounting and billing for time from my attorney, as well as ideas from restaurants, movie theaters and just about every other business I go in to in one way or another.  Good business ideas are all around us, if we just expect ideas to come to us that need to be adapted.

Photography is no different.  Although we specialize in high school seniors we photograph many mothers of our seniors who want to have the experience their daughter had in her senior session.  While age, weight and the obvious difference in appearance will always have to be considered, we use basically use similar poses, backgrounds/sets and lighting as we do with our seniors and no mature woman has ever said their portraits looked like senior portraits.

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on December 7, 2010.

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