When One Photograph Tells a Story
by Skip Cohen
On Fridays, I love when I can write a post that gives you something to think about over the weekend. This morning, I caught this post from Seth Resnick:
There is that old saying that says don't try this at home...Ansel Adams famously said, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." Photography isn't always easy, and sometimes the best image can be dangerous to take. That said there is a certain adrenaline rush that pushes. I try never to cross my own line in determining risk but my line is very different from others. Curious to hear some of your stories about pushing the line. Photo credit for this awesome pic goes to a true dear lifelong friend Nancy Leigh.
Nancy Leigh's shot of Seth got me thinking about the headshots so many of you use on your website and in social media. Most of them could put a rock to sleep! They're boring and say nothing about who you are or your love for the craft.
I'm a big fan of environmental portraits for photographers. Whether shot as a true wide angle or just capturing an element about the subject, they tell a story. Here are a few of my favorites from my good buddy Terry Clark.
Here's my point - all of you know how to do portraits that tell a story, but like the old expression about "shoemaker's children always needing shoes," why aren't you telling a story with your own headshot on your website and in social media?
I shared Kay Eskridge's headshot on the right a few years back in a blog post. Just looking at the photograph, you know something more about her. A potential client immediately sees how much she loves the craft. And I love that it's black and white - pushing the point of diversity in her creativity a little more. Even better would be her shot combined with an image or two of her working with a client.
Here's why this is so important - many of you have terrible or irrelevant headshots on your websites and social media pages. From bad selfies to portraits looking like you handed one of your kids the camera, very few of them show your love for the craft. And almost none of them shiow you in action...as a PHOTOGRAPHER and ARTIST.
And that's what hit me with that shot of Seth that started all of this today. Let's eliminate all those bad shots of you and replace them this weekend with images that show your passion for the craft and say something more about you than just being another body on planet earth!
A big thanks to Seth for sharing that shot, but the appreciation also goes to Nancy Leigh, who captured his adventurer side, and that special aspect of creativity you see in his images! It's also a big reason why I get such a kick out of following him and living vicariously through his adventures and posts. He needs to be on your radar.
Wishing everybody a terrific weekend ahead!
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.