Most people that I know of especially in the mining industrial industry do NOT like having their image taken. I can see it in their eyes within seconds of them realizing why we are there to begin with. This “photo fear” is also multiplied when they have no prior notification that I was coming and so I must quickly gain their confidence within a few minutes…….an elevator pitch if you will. Luckily, I have been doing this for years and have confidence in my communication skills as well as my photographic skills but my subjects don’t know that. I need to convey to them that I will make them look good, that I will make them look good doing their job and that I can create a portrait of them better than any cellphone snap they have had in the past.
Within those few minutes we need to come up with a game plan for the scenario, I need to see the “what where when” of the environment and formulate my plan of attack to get the images. Of course there is a lot more talking in between frames and setups but the one thing I learned is to always be the first to open the dialogue and listen to what they tell you when you ask your questions.
It took me many years and many modifications to my communication technique and I am still modifying it today. Practice your elevator pitch, practice your communication skills because we utilize our customer service skills before we even touch our equipment. At the end of the session, when it is time to create the “looking at the camera” portrait, they have 100% confidence with what I am doing and I know I can create an image that they will have confidence in.
This image showcases a few old school lessons I learned in photography composition. “You look at an image like you read a book, from left to right” was mentioned to me early on in my career and it stuck with me ever since.
Using leading lines and creating highlights and shadows with my lighting I draw the viewer into a specific part of the image. In this case I used the leading lines of the truck to draw your attention to the main subject while utilizing some background lighting for impact. This overall composition leaves room for “copy” on the left side of the image over the negative space of the truck while drawing your attention onto the main subject of the miner and tablet. As well with this composition the image can be cropped vertically isolating the subject thus giving a designer several options for layout placement.
My Client www.puregoldmining.ca was recently featured in www.northernontariobusiness.com. Pure Gold has some amazing individuals behind it and I enjoyed my time on site creating images for their branding and marketing materials. I look forward to their progress and success as well as future photo projects with them.
I photographed Vanessa (3rd generation miner) and her Scoop Tram 10 years ago next month. I have also been lucky enough to photograph her sister and dad who are both in the Mining Industry with Vale as well. This was before high visibility PPE was required at Vale at all times while on site in Ontario which changed from blue to high vis orange on July 1st 2016.
Recently I found myself at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South Mine photographing another of Maclean Engineering’s Electric Fleet. I am always thrilled to create images for Macleans and I was even more thrilled to finally find my way underground at Nickel Rim where I was pleasantly surprised by the organization and cleanliness of the mine (yes, I notice everything). While electric vehicles are starting to become more and more popular in the mining industry, testing all the applications and variables for maximum efficiency is still the key factors in R & D. For more information check out Stuart Listers (Director of Marketing & Communications) recently published Linkedin post “UX Meets EV”
I love everything about this photo. The lighting, the shallow depth of field, the sharpness, his expression and the background.