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Photographing a tomboy (senior pictures)

Theresa Skutt , Sep 17, 2010; 03:59 p.m.

Does anyone have advice or experience with this? I've done girls and guys, but not a girl who hangs with the guys! Not sure how to approach it....thanks in advance...


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Rebecca L , Sep 17, 2010; 04:46 p.m.

...What is your concern? Prop her up next to a tree, tell her to smile. It's just a senior photo.

Heather Allen , Sep 17, 2010; 04:49 p.m.

Just put her in a setting that she is comfortable with, then all will go well.

Michael Axel , Sep 17, 2010; 05:57 p.m.

She seems to like who she is or she wouldn't hang out with the boys. What's better than someone who likes who they are? Photographers shouldn't judge their subjects.

Joseph Wisniewski , Sep 17, 2010; 06:01 p.m.

Make sure you get a few shots that are "feminine". There's been a lot of problems lately with kids coming up with something that triggers homophobia in the yearbook committee, and they tell the kid to come up with a different picture, 2 days before it goes to press.

Theresa Skutt , Sep 17, 2010; 06:04 p.m.

Michael--I'm not 'judging' her! The word came from her mom. It's a description, not a judgment. Different personalities are photographed with different approaches, and since this is not one I've had before, I was looking for relevant, good-spirited advice, hopefully based on personal experience.

Justin Schnee , Sep 17, 2010; 07:16 p.m.

find out a little about who she is. is she a girly girl that doesnt like to deal with girls bullsh*t so she hangs wit the guys, or is she "one of the guys" that just happens to be a girl. i know both of them type of girls, and neither are homesexual. photograph them both feminely and i think you will be fine. if shes one that acts lke a guy,photo her feminely in a masucline way. maybe have her dress girly but pose her masculinely and strong. maybe do a shot of here doing the muscle flex and GRRRR for laughs

Tim Ludwig , Sep 17, 2010; 09:43 p.m.

What ever happened to the concept of a good old pre-session conversation? Talk to the girl (and to all of your senior clients) and find out about their like and dislikes, their hobbies, their favorite music and movies, sports, etc. and lead into the type of clothing and props they will bring. Do this face to face and watch for her body language. Be sure to ask if she has specific poses she would like to do or favorite portraits of her friends that she could show you as examples. That will tell you tons about how to pose her. It will also give her time to get to know you and to get comfortable with the whole process and you become a team with the goal of getting her and her family, the best senior portraits you can deliver.

It's amazing how wonderfully feminine a girl can look in traditional masculine poses, so don't sweat that. Just go with her flow of postures and attitudes work it out together.

Mike Godwin , Sep 18, 2010; 10:23 a.m.

I always tell them we need to do a couple of the standard shots to make the parents happy, then the rest of the time is theirs. Whatever shots they want (within reason).

Most of the time the guys have no idea what they want. The girls almost always know what they want. Some even bring lists of shots.

Remember, it's not just a job, it's an adventure!

Jamie Vascan , Sep 21, 2010; 10:40 p.m.

I'd shoot a few different styles of shots. If the client refuses to roll around in the roses, don't make her so to speak. I don't think this is a photographer JUDING their subject, I think she just wants to be prepared. I guess I would shoot her how I would shoot a guy. Find out what she is into. If she is into skateboarding have her bring a skateboard or guitar whatever she is into, even reading- I'd do a few journalistic type shots that included her hobby- because she will feel more comfortable- some people just do better if you hand them a prop.. I agree with those that said shoot some feminine shots too. I like to use the excuse and say "your mom/grandma/dad will kill me if I don't take this shot"

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