Men vs. Photo shoots
Men don't like photo shoots.
There I said it. And it's true.
They just don't. Which is totally fine with me. They don't have to like it. They have the women in their lives that make sure the family gets at least one photo shoot a year for the Christmas card. They grin and bear it. Get it over with so they can stop hearing about it.
In my six years of business, I have only had one man contact me to book and set up the photo shoot, and it was because he was secretly proposing to his lady.
When I was a portrait photographer, my goal during the session was to become friends with the guy. I wanted him to have an enjoyable time. I knew the photo shoot was what mom wanted and she'd be fine, so my focus was on dad. I talked sports. I talked about how horrible photo shoots are and that as soon as I got "the photo", we'd move on or be done. No need to beat a dead horse.
Now that I'm documentary, that goal is still the same, but it's not as hard to achieve.
Dads like when I come for a photo session. Did you hear that?! They LIKE it! Dads are amazing without being told what to do.
I'm going to share a few testimonials from recent dads to show you that having a happy dad is possible!
"I have done a lot of photo shoots. Your documentary photography was very different and I liked it a lot better. It was much more relaxing and much less stressful. I didn't feel like I was constantly posing and putting on a fake smile. I didn't have to do anything awkward like hold a pose for too long or kiss in front of the camera. I wasn't constantly being bossed around and told what to do. The pictures looked like real life and I recognized myself and my family. Sometimes in posed photo shoots it can be so awkward, and the result is that you don't really look like yourself in the picture. But with documentary photography it feels really natural and the result is that the picture looks natural, and they will help me remember what my life was like."
This dad even started doing his homework while I was there. Life goes on people. No need to interrupt it for photos.
One dad said this: "One of the biggest benefits, in my opinion, is how this breed of photography session actually provided me with a great excuse to plan something that helped me spend quality time with my family. This is in stark contrast from posed photography sessions that take time away from other activities that we could be doing instead, and can be the source of stress as you struggle to get the family to come together in forced positions and fabricated smiles. Documentary style photography sessions actually add value to my family time without adding any stress."
WHAT?! Written by a man about a photo shoot!
Another said, "I liked the lack of pressure to smile without blinking. I like the concept of ordinary situation photography. Too many people get disillusioned when they see only the glamorous things others put on Facebook. I liked the photos of me playing with my son, because that's what I typically do after work."
Did you see how many times he said "like"?
Last one from a father where I went to get one-year old pictures of his son, "The photos reflected more than just my son. They are a snapshot in time of his toys, the house, and how we interacted with him at this age. The other part of how your photography style appealed to me was out of sheer laziness! No traveling to a studio, no waking up a toddler from his much needed nap early (he was still asleep when I arrived and we just waited for him to wake up), no trying to get the little bundle of energy to sit still and smile at the camera. In the end, he was well rested, happy, eager to show off in his home where he is comfortable. And the experience was easy, pleasant, stress free. And the beautiful photos reflected that ease."
The most recent family session I had, the dad stayed in his room for the first HOUR of our 3 hour session. I didn't care one bit and the mom wasn't hounding him to get his butt out here for the photographer. I just documented mom and kids having breakfast and he joined us when he was ready. He was welcomed with open arms and seamlessly joined the family.
If you're struggling to convince your man that it's family photo time, maybe there's another way. Maybe there's an easier way. Maybe you can have the cake and eat it too! You can have beautiful photos of your family while still having a happy hubby at the end.