I had the pleasure of hearing Douglas Kirkland speak at the San Diego Photo Expo last weekend.
Kirkland is a legendary photographer, having photographed a who's who of movie stars over the past half century.
Listening to Kirkland speak is entertaining for the stories, of course, but more importantly, for his sense of joy. He loves photography as a way to connect to his subjects, be they famous or not.
A few of his words:
With today's tools photographers are now empowered like painters.
You'll get as good a picture as your subject feels.
Know about your subject and be interested in them.
Make your subject feel calm and serene.
The high ISO capabilities of today's cameras have caused him to use smaller (slower) lenses.
Use music in your sessions to keep the model relaxed, and the shoot can be like a dance between you and your subject.
"It's all so much fun!"
"I want people to look good."
After a slide show, he did a live photo shoot with a model from the local area. It was clear that he loved the session and put the model at ease.
If you get a chance to see Douglas Kirkland speak, don't miss it!