Updated: May 8, 2020
Method directing is an approach to film making as well as photography, and it often yields surprising levels of desirability. Zach Galifianakis, a very famous comedian/actor, is a method actor, and so was Heath Ledger.
Method directing involves a little understanding of psychology. If I notice that my client might be struggling to relax, one of my first responses is to start fiddling with my camera with a confused expression on my face to make it seem like I'm struggling with menus and settings, and as I'm doing this I tend to make general conversation with my client about music, how they got into modeling, etc. This usually works fairly quick in easing the level of camera anxiety, and then I start asking questions that bring out the desired emotion for the photoshoot.
If I'm looking for a smile, instead of asking my subject to smile, I'll pose questions such as "What was the happiest moment of your life?" and their face lights up and I snap a photo as soon as they begin to talk.
If I'm looking for a candid expression, I might say that I'm dialing in the settings on my camera for a different look and I'll start pointing the camera at a tree, or a nearby bird without actually taking a photo and then I point the camera back towards my subject and act like I'm still dialing in my settings and when that perfect moment happens, my camera is already there, and I take a photo and show them the image on my camera display and they begin to smile again and I quickly take another photo.
I tend to shy away from general posing commands because to me it often seems staged and rigid and I like to capture the essence of everyone I work with in the best way that I know how. When method directing is done effectively, you usually get a higher volume of candid photos and these are the photos that my clients respond to the best.
If you happen to know anyone in Concord CA, or the California Bay Area who is looking for San Francisco Bay Area portraits, or anyone in the Bay Area goth scene who might be looking for Bay Area goth portraits, feel free to contact me or send them my way and together we can make memories with a difference!
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