Thomas Hawk, along with Kris Krug, is one of the photographers that I admire most. Not only does he create such amazing images, he exudes his love of photography. Hell, the man shoots upwards of five hundred pictures a day. I have no idea how he finds the time to go through them (let alone process them) with a job (or two), wife and kids.
Anyhow, in a wonderful post today he responds to the question:
If given the choice to either sleep with Marilyn Monroe or take photographs of her which would I do? The first answer was easy. I'm married and so sex with Marilyn was out. But I'd love to shoot her. So then the question was reasked, if I were ==single== which would I choose?
Just go and read the post…
In this post, he also talks about the problem where people don't like to be photographed because, in their words, they don't look good in pictures.
But the reason why photos don't work for these people is because they don't like having their photo taken in the first place.
If they protest verbally then maybe I get one or two shots of them. If they protest with their body language maybe I get 5 or 10. If they are into instead I might take 50 or 100
When you have 50 shots to cull one or two out from you get much better shots because 48 end up on the cutting room floor. When you have 2 to choose from it makes it harder. My advice to people who say that they never take a good picture is that they especially, instead of shutting down a photographer give them the most time, attention and latitude. This will yield the best possible photos and most great photographers can take a good shot of just about anyone.
Intuitively, this is a great rationale and something that I'll use in the future when friends and family and me to stop taking pictures of them because “I'm not photogenic”.