I never take photos.
I first select the lens that works best for you. Is it a Leica 50mm? Or a Nikon 85mm? Should I use a Canon 24-70mm for your family portrait or a Zeiss 35mm?
Each lens has a different character and it creates a perspective of its own. Before clicking the shutter I make that decision so that you will look the best.
Then I set the lighting for you. Are you in your twenties? Thirties? What if you are in your 60s? What lighting works best? Do you want your portrait to be cheerful or dramatic? The number and type of lights change for every occasion. Even if I shoot your event and the flash is on my camera, I change the diffuser, the direction, the power and how the flash mixes with the other lights, whether those are chandeliers or the sun.
And then I set the camera for the right parameters? Should I use ISO 200 or 1250? Should I set the shutter speed at 1/60 of a second or at 1/250? How does that interact with the flashes that I’m using?
Is a wide lens aperture going to work best for you at that moment, or maybe I should close it a little bit and get more of the background in focus? Will it be distracting or enhance your portrait?
And then I frame you, and I direct you. Please move that foot a little forward. Great. Now put your right hand on your waist. A little higher. That’s perfect. Turn your whole body this way. Chin down a little bit. Thank you. And then I crack a stupid joke and look at your face. There. That’s the expression that I was looking for. Click.
In a blink of the eye, it’s done and now we do it again. Because you deserve nothing less.