Sometimes a photography session can be a bit stressful for the person in front of the camera. Unfortunately, some people find it to be an anxiety-inducing experience.
My commercial work typically involves photographing people in the workplace. That means, someone is getting their photo taken as part of their job. Since this often isn’t a choice, I try to be understanding and make it as care-free as possible. Most people do just fine, especially when I get what I need quickly.
The nature of what I create is very subjective, so it’s inevitable that some folks won’t like the end result. If someone is dissatisfied, I will pull some different frames from the original session and add a slightly different digital treatment. When presented with the new pictures after some time has passed, most people find a winner. I always offer a re-shoot, but almost nobody takes me up on that.
On four or five occasions, over thirty years of commercial work, there have been people who just couldn’t be pleased no matter what I did.
This portrait was from a session in which the subject couldn’t find a single image out of 130 that made her happy. Her feelings about the pictures, sent to me in writing, were heavy on cognitive distortions. There were no mentions of anything related to art or craft, which isn’t a helpful critique.
That’s why I don’t internalize one-star reviews.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.