For Christmas, I bought myself this book by Chris Orwig, “People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs.” (Side note: I am not getting paid in anyway to talk about or advertise this book, sheesh!) As a photographer, I am always looking to improve myself and I thought having a simple guide of exercises to try might be fun.
I especially liked that the title already told you that this was not merely a book about taking people pictures. But that the book strives to help you create authentic people pictures. This is always a struggle for me. I want more than anything to create authentic, real, insightful photographs of my subjects. Why? Well, because photography is not only my business, it’s my passion, my thing I do for fun, the way I record my own history as well as others, and its my job. And I think that is where the conflict lies. With photography being our job and bread and butter, it’s easy as a beginner to do a photo session without really getting to know your subject first. I’m sure I am not the only photographer that struggles with this. But how do you introduce yourself to a subject so that they feel truly comfortable, maybe even intimate with you and your camera? What creates those photographs of people where you feel like you are seeing that persons soul? Their true self.
These are questions I hope to face and challenge myself to accomplish as I go through the exercises in this book. I’m sure some of these exercises will be quite simple, normal, but I think they are all important. I hope you will continue to check in on my progress and please comment! Let me know what you think, if I’m falling short or have hit the mark. We’ll all learn together.