6 thoughts on “Best Lenses for Portrait Photography [IP154]”

  1. If the “puppy” breeder did not want to sell or show the inferior puppy then in to a bucket of water it would go, no one will see that puppy. NEVER GIVE YOUR CUSTOMESR CRAP.

  2. Great podcast (I’m renting the SIGMA 35mm Art for an upcoming photoshoot) and debate! My own personal experience falls more in line with Jim Harmer’s perspective.

    I regularly shoot the Tough Mudder extreme sport competition here in the U.K., and this year I was hired to follow a team of nine through 12miles of mud, sweat, and tears. Of the 4,000 shots for the two day event, only ~800 featured the team. I culled the BBR (blurred beyond recognition) shots, processed the 100 that I thought were the best, and presented them to the team through my website’s online proofing feature. Some folks asked about a certain obstacle or shot they remembered I took but didn’t see in the proofs. So, when we had our final ‘screening’ of the proofs, I ran Lightroom’s slideshow showing the roughly ~400 remaining images. There were a handful that they liked that I thought were technically challenged (bad comp, soft focus, poor lighting), and we talked about why I did not include them in my selection. We whittled down their handful to a few that they really liked, so I tacked on a small hourly charge to do basic edits, and every one left happy. The Tough Mudder crowd is pretty tight, and through this team I was contacted by other groups asking if I had shots of their team generating additional income. I’ve also been retained for next years gig! I know this was an ideal situation that doesn’t fit a lot of scenarios, but in this case it worked out fairly well.

    But, I fully understand Nick’s perspective. I’ve got the full-time gig that feeds the family, and my survival isn’t based on potential clients’ view of substandard work. I don’t think there is a right/wrong in this one. In the end, each photographer will have to make the call based on their own business model and personal needs.

  3. I couldn’t relate to the puppy thing, but I think of it like this. Toyota makes an amazing vehicle in their Tundra. It’s an amazingly stylistic truck, it’s reliable, and more than anything it speaks to the quality of their brand just by its appearance. It’s available in about ten different colors, including a red and a blue. Now if by some mistake/malfunction these two paints were mixed and Toyota accidentally produced a purple truck, they wouldn’t send it out into the world to represent their brand. Even if this might be the answer to every 16 year old girl in the Midwest, and be the best received thing since spinners on your wheels, they wouldn’t do it. They would scrap it, or repaint it and do their best to NOT let that truck see the eye of the public as t would be a misrepresentation of their brand. This is why you as the artist, the photographer, should ultimately keep control of the work you let out into the world. If you are shooting a large enough volume to deliver a sufficient product to your client, then this shouldn’t be a problem. If all you have to offer is volume because you lack quality, then you should probably revisit your career path.

    1. Jon – I have for YEARS delivered 95% of the images I shoot to clients. Never ONCE has there been a scenario where they published a photo that I was embarrassed by. I asked all the other hosts of the Improve Photography podcasts if it has ever happened to them and they have never seen it either.

      It sounds a lot to me like many photographers are content to not please their clients and give them what they want to pay for–all so the photographer can prevent a danger that none of us, with a combined experience of several decades, has never encountered.

      1. I would like to add that not only have they never published a shot where I wish they hadn’t, but nearly every shoot I do the client chooses a shot I never would have as one of the favorites they want me to touch-up. I have been hired by the client to take pictures for them, the shots I take are all theirs. They have been paid for. I don’t shoot landscape shots for anyone but me, so I will choose which of those I out out on social media and my website, but the portraits I shoot are not for me and I really believe that the client should have the opportunity to decide which shots they like best. They all get that we take a lot of shots because some of them won’t work. Eyes closed. Strange poses. Sudden light changes. Slight camera movements making them out of focus. But they also see how many REALLY good shots are in there and the feedback I most often get is it is really hard to choose the limited number of shots that they get in my base package for me to focus my post processing on. I often make a little more money charging extra for additional shots they want processed. It is working very well for me and my clients keep coming back every year for family portraits.

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