Being a goober is just as important as being a photographer

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People are more like deer than you think. When a deer is on an empty road and is suddenly confronted with a beaming light speeding towards it at 65 mph, they do the least effective thing possible, planting their hooves in the asphalt as they stare straight into the light.

People are like this, but with cameras—OK, so most people aren’t quite like this, but I am. I see someone taking a photo in my direction, and like the deer, I run and hide or I get caught in an awkward trance not knowing what to do.

Long story short, I’m awkward in front of the camera, and I find it funny really. But when you pay a photographer to take your pictures, the last thing you want is to feel awkward in front of the camera.

If you are concerned about doing a shoot or have ever felt like a deer in the headlights during a shoot, here is some assurance—I’m a flippin goober behind the camera, so you won’t have any reason to feel awkward in front of the camera. 

What do I mean by this? Well here’s a scenario. In an apartment complex a friend and I chose to take the elevator, because somedays you just don’t want to take the stairs. There were two other strangers in the elevator. We pushed the button for the second floor and the other two had pushed buttons for the third and fourth floor.

Why is it important to me to be a goober?

Elevators, as you know, aren’t exactly a social hub. As the doors closed and we hit the button for the second floor, my friend warmly said to the other two, “I guess we better top it off by hitting the button for the fifth floor am I right?”

ABSOLUTE DEAD SILENCE. And not to mention the most terrifying death glare from the girl in the corner of the elevator. The other stranger was about to laugh, but saw the glare the girl was giving, and he froze in complete silence. Rude. I’m not one to advocate for pitty laughs, but it’s important to reciprocate in conversations to provide a sense of safety and trust, or for craps sake (pardon my French) to just diffuse some awkward social tension.

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It can be a similar feeling for a couple or client during a shoot. Sometimes I don’t know them super well before the shoot, so I reach out like my friend did in the elevator. I find the couple or clients do the same, and it’s my job not to act like the girl with that grim-like death glare.

I mean, of course I won’t give a death glare, but if they say something I can’t just respond with “That’s nice.” That is just as rude as death glare girl, and it builds up some awkward tension where NOBODY wins.

That’s why during a shoot I’ll look at the camera, smile and scream, “YOU. GUYS. ARE. ON. FIRE,” and show them the pictures. It’s not necessarily the photo that makes the couple feel comfortable, but what I say before showing them the photo. That’s why throughout the shoot, I make fun of myself, offer compliments, and have a real conversation with them.

To bring it all back, being in front of the camera can be the WORST experience. I get it. It’s one reason why I stand behind the camera most of the time. It’s why I’m a goober, so you can feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Ryan & Danae | Couples Session

Brenna Portrait Session