So, this post isn't for actors/ actresses. This is more for photographers. And if I'm honest, I didn't really know the subject I'm talking about was a thing. At least, until I found out first hand. So, I figured I would speak out on this for a few minutes.
Warning: I use harsh language in this post. So if you're sensitive to that type of thing, you may want to read another blog post. You've been warned.
A little while back, I worked with a model who wanted to add acting to her resume'; I was only too happy to oblige.
So, the session is going on, and as I tend to do, I walked thru some of the headshots with her, to help improve her look. As we were looking over the images, she started to tear up.
Now, all this time I'm thinking, "Oh shit, is she really crying over me working on her posing"? I started to try and talk to her, see if I could calm her down and get her head back in the session. Turned out it had nothing to do with me (major sigh of relief).
She tells me the story of a model shoot she was very recently on. The main photographer was unable to work with her for that day, so another photographer was brought in. Upon seeing the model, the photographer refused to photograph her.
The problem? The replacement photographer never photographed a dark- skinned woman before.
It was a fucked up situation, but understandable, I guess. And, as I would soon find out, this wasn't a one-off event, it has happened before (not with the model, I mean, but with other folks with deep color skin).
There seems to be an awkwardness when it comes to photographing people with deep, rich dark skin. So much so that some photographers would rather not even try than to screw up an image.
And here is the damning thing: It's not just white photographers that have had this issue; black photographers have had it as well.....
.....So much for my angry Black Man rant........:P
Now that we can take the racism angle out of this story, we can focus on the science of the photography. And, just so we are clear, I am not a "Master of Light", but I do understand some things, and can proudly say, I've never had the fear of photographing ANYONE..........at least not yet, anyway.
Well, then, how on Earth does one photograph a dark- skinned person?
Pretty much the same way you would photograph anyone else:
!) Get your color balance dialed in,
2) Pose your subject,
3) Get the expression you want,
4) Meter and Light your subject,
5) Take picture,
6) Season to taste,
7) Rinse and repeat.
It doesn't get any simpler than that.
Photographers, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Don't just assume something bad will happen; experiment, and prove it to yourself. Learn. Or someone else will be taking your business.
As for the model? Well, she got herself a camera. And now, she is embarking on the photographic journey that many of us engage at some point in our lives. But, unlike some other photogs, she has the advantage of knowing how to handle the "challenge" of capturing an image without fear of how to do it.
And, I'll leave that there......
BTW, in case you're confused, the photo above, is NOT the female model in question. I opted to tell her story, but decided not to reveal her.