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.