I showed some wonderful film photographs to a friend and they didn’t like them. They said so. Which makes me say, “Hmmm, I know how to edit your photos better than you know how to see yourself, and I assure these are strong photographs that feature you looking your best.”
When I get my hair cut, and the stylist asks me if it looks okay, I always say if it looks okay to them, I like it. Because they see it better than I do, and they know what they’re looking at. They have an eye for hair that I don’t. I really say that.
It’s why I make the selects of the shoot instead of sending them all to look through. It’s why I cull the shots into the selects I like. Because I know which ones have that little bit of extra something. That special something. It might not be able to be defined, but I know it when I see it.
I had a portrait client that wanted a couple portrait together. This is the winner. It’s wonderful. It’s lovely. When I showed it to them, they didn’t like it. They wanted something more standard.
So, I printed this one for them. They liked it.
At my own expense, I also printed my choice. I know that that one has a chance of living for multiple generations in their family. It has that special something. The special sauce.
I know better than you what looks best. It’s not a conceit, it’s a fact. A musician plays a piece, misses a note, and is down for making a mistake. The audience hears the whole song and cheers. The musician is too close to the piece to realize what it sounds like as a whole.
Same with a portrait. The subject is looking at their chin or their elbow or their forehead and is critical of something only they see. Most people see the whole, not the pieces. But the individual sees the single elements. They can’t see the whole work.
I can. Which is why you’re paying me for my vision. My eye. Because I can see it. I can find it in the edit.
So, trust your photographer. They know what they’re looking at. Even when that’s you. They know.
That’s their expertise.