Portraits: Trust Your Instincts

Trust your instincts and act on them.

Portraits are a funny thing. They’re deep, simple and complicated. It’s a paradox that I love.

The client above was what I call a unicorn client. They’ve followed my work for some time, love what I do and was open to what I saw fit for a portrait session; whether it be analog or digital. I chose to shoot both but ended up waisting my time with the digital part of the session. The digital photos turned out very good, but not great, in my opinion. When I developed the film I fell instantly in love. This isn’t an exaggeration to make a point. It’s the truth about what I connect with most. This is important to pay attention to as a photographer. If I’m not one hundred precent into the shots then I’m not doing my job or creating the artwork I should be creating.

Now, there is a fine line between art and business in this photo game. Too much business minded shenanigans and you’ll lose site of being an artist and vice versa. This is a balance I don’t have in hand well, but something I keep in mind constantly, looking for opportunities to exercise that balance with each client I work with. This isn’t a fast road to what I define as success but a road that is long traveled and rightfully so. Nothing good comes easy and easy growth has easy death from my experience.

With that said, trust your instincts and act on them. Those small nudges are telling a big story on who you are as an artist. Listen to them and look for opportunities to grow your creative insight. Unfortunately no one can tell you what that looks like other than you. My only advice is to let go of control and let what happens happen.

If you’re interested in a portrait session with me, please shoot me an email and let’s chat. You can also reach me on Instagram.

Matt Pittman / Ilford HP5 / Leica M7 / Paul C. Buff / Portraits / Huntsville, Alabama