Authentic, Believable Photography

As social media has moved more and more into our daily lives, the imagery used in advertising campaigns has moved to become more authentic.  More real.

It was a bitter pill for me to swallow at first.  I can’t describe how I felt the first time I heard an art director say “make it look like an amateur snapped it with his iPhone.”  Gulp.

I mean, I spend two decades mastering perfection.  Now I’m told to shoot work that looks like an amateur took it?

After the initial shock wore off I saw it differently.  You see, the art director still wanted perfection.  What they are asking is to make it look like an amateur took it without the amateur mistakes.  You know, one of those happy chances when you point your iPhone at something and the lighting, model, setting and composition all happen to be perfect by a happy accident.

That actually takes a bit of doing.  But it simply amounts to flawless work that is less posed, more natural, free flowing and believable.  This effects every aspect of the shoot right down to – and especially – affecting the choice of models.

We needed very authentic images of a guy having a great time in a small beach town for this shoot.  Model Zeus Ley was thrilled when I went over the image brief.  He said “you mean I get to just do what I do normally?”  He couldn’t have done a more perfect job and I wanted to give him a shout out.

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  1. Joyce Goeppinger November 8, 2018 at 11:19 pm #

    This image is great to represent Authentic Believable Photography! Eating something was a very good choice!!!

    • MarkStout123 November 9, 2018 at 2:03 am #

      Thank you Joyce. The model selection was a big part of it too. You wouldn’t think this, but many many models are awesome for the highly posed type of fashion and art shots but can’t be authentic and natural in front of the camera like this shoot demanded. Likewise the ones that can be the most natural don’t do as well in the highly posed.

      I like to have a body of models I’ve worked with previously to call on for important paid shoots and will use them before just selecting one from an agency because I know their strengths and weaknesses.