The Psychology of a Photographer
Today I wanted to write about the thought process and mental hurdles that come when photographing. Photography is an art, which means it's subjective. What I may find appealing doesn't necessarily mean others will and vice versa, so how do you find that balance? It comes down to understanding the psychology of what makes a photo great. Many people think it's just simply putting the camera down and taking a photo, but it's so much more than that. In this post I will only speak for myself and my own thought process because after all, what works for me may not work for other photographers. "But if you're both photographers specializing in the same photography, why wouldn't you have the same process?" It's simple, we are artists with our own vision and beliefs of what makes a photo great. If you were to ask me and another photographer to photograph the same kitchen or living area, we are going to come up with different angles because of our psychology. This I find fascinating because it's simply viewing another perspective from another human being.
There are many mental notes that I always keep in mind when photographing which helps me provide consistent results and allows me to further perfect my craft. It's all about knowing your subject and the end goal of what your clients are expecting from your photos and service. As a photographer I need to please the realtor, the homeowner, and at the same time attract a buyer. How do you please the homeowner, the realtor, and a potential buyer? As a photographer, once you understand the psychology of your craft you can begin to create a specific 'emotion' which the seller, realtor, and buyer can all relate to. This is what separates amateur photographers from professional photographers in my opinion. It's the emotion they are able to portray in their photos.
When it comes time to photographing a listing there are several things I keep in mind. Firstly, I do not view the property as a home, but rather as a large canvas which I will apply my vision, art, and craft to. My style is more contemporary, which for me means photographing something simple but conveys an emotion of beauty or 'want' without knowing why. You put a couch in an empty living room and I will create a vision and emotion that will make you wish you were there enjoying life. Give a camera to less experienced photographer or someone with no experience and you'll just have a photo of a couch in an empty living room. It all comes down to understanding the psychology of what makes a photo great and creating an emotion. For sellers, I want to show them the beauty of their own home through my eyes. Each property creates it's own emotion in me which I will then portray to my photography. Whenever I get a booking to photograph a property, I don't have any information about the property besides the address, which means I have no idea what the property looks like until I arrive. I do not need to spend a day or several hours game planning on how I am going to approach the photo shoot, I just need five minutes. Rather than using my eyes, I will use the emotion that the property is conveying to me and will feed that into my vision of how I believe the property will photograph best. Using that as my foundation I am now able to create my art. If I can sell the property to the seller and make them think twice about selling, I've done my job.
Creating that emotion to the seller is one thing. Creating another/different emotion to a potential buyer with the same photos is another thing. This is when as a photographer you need to know the balance of your art and not lean too much on pleasing only the seller or only the buyer. For a buyer, I need to portray a vision of 'want' and 'need'. If I can create that emotion for them then we're on the right path for getting that property sold. I need to show the potential of the property and to help create a vision for them in order to view themselves living there. It's all about the psychology. For a buyer, I want them to feel that emotion of 'needing' to be there and 'wanting' that property because of the way the property was portrayed in the photos. An amateur photographer may not always be able to create that vision or emotion to a potential buyer, which may result in the buyer not being able to see themselves there because they do not see the true beauty and potential that the property may offer. I thrive off of this because it is a wonderful feeling as a photographer to be able to help sell a property because of your work, knowing that you played a vital roll in the process of helping a family sell their home and at the same time helping a family find their dream home.
The psychology and mental games that photographers face is truly challenging which many may not understand how much goes into simply taking just one photo. Every single image that I take has a purpose with its own emotion that I want to portray. Each photographer is different with their own style and vision. We are not robots produced to create the same image and vision. We are humans giving you glimpse of the way we view the world through our eyes.