Know Your Subject
So before I bring my model on, let me talk to you about why it's so important to research who you're going to shoot. Knowledge is power and ultimately what that really means is that the more you know about who you're going to shoot, the more you can kind of anticipate who they might be, how they might react, what you can get out of them. So I like to do everything from look them up on the internet, look at their Facebook page, look at their Instagram account, check out their website. Potentially, see what other work they've done. I ask in advance what they like to eat. I look at all the things that they might have been in. If I'm photographing an actor, for example, you can see all the movies that they they've been in. The more you know about that person, when they come on to set, and you can talk to them about their career, or talk to them about what they like to do, or about their life, they feel special. And that's one part of it, making them feel comfortable, but it also helps you ...
know what they can do, how far they've been pushed, how far you can push them, and also what they haven't done. That's another thing. As a photographer you don't necessarily want to just shoot an updated picture. You may want to actually capture something brand new for them. So yeah, you go and get the safe shot, but you can also find something that hasn't been done before, and that's when it gets exciting. Pushing the boundaries, for me, is always what it's about. Taking a risk on yourself, on the subject, that's where the magic is. You have to have the confidence to do that, but you have to build up the confidence in who you're shooting. And so by having that knowledge, by having that sort of insider information on whoever you're shooting, it just adds to your ability to capture the moment.