the myth - photographing across racial boundaries

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dew, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    how difficult is it to photograph people cross racial bounderies? ... is this a myth? .. or is their some truth to it?

    every african-american that inquires about my photography services ask me if i can photograph "african-americans" ... then they ask me if im black :eek:

    i had this happen again tonight (african-american male) .. im thinking .. a professional is a professional and they should be able to pull this off no matter what color/race the subject is :? ... funny how none of my caucasians clients ever ask me if i know how to photograph them....

    can u pull this off? ... or is there some reality to this myth?
     
  2. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    its funny you should ask that...i had a guy accuse me of "taking pictures of poor black men" one day...

    i told him that my pictures shouldnt reflect a specific race but a working class. he liked that answer. So i guess what im sayin is that most people should get it and if they dont?....shoot from the hip!!!!


    md
     
  3. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    That is ridiculous.
     
  4. metroshane

    metroshane TPF Noob!

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  5. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I've never done any portrait work but I'm guessing that it would be a lot harder to bring out the facial details in a really dark skinned person.
    Dew has posted much info' on what is needed to really light a persons face correctly for portraits so when they ask if she's used to photographing African-Americans they're probably thinking about the results of pics taken with simple lighting and camera setups.
    Just a thought.
     
  6. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    That was the only thought I would have as well. Might be different lighting circumstances. ::shrug:: Then again I'm sure some people just want to make everything about race. :|
     
  7. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    i photograph all my clients with the same light set-up .. with slightly different shutter speeds

    it upset me a little when he asked (even though its been asked of me before) .. it was if i wouldnt meet the criteria if i wasnt "african-american" even though he liked my portfolio... also, the man that was sitting next to me (my hubby who is "white") is a better photographer than i'll ever be :? and has photographed many (including myself :oops: ) ... as if he wouldnt be qualified...

    i've heard this a lot and wanted to know what the deal is with this :?

    *sorry if i sound a little hyper, its because i am :p*

    he wants to come to my studio this saturday (i dont want to deal with him anyway) ... i joked with the hubby .... i bet the look on his face would be priceless, if he saw u and i introduced u as my hubby :lol:
     
  8. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like some people just want to make everything about race. :|
     
  9. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    i dunno, something's up with these New Yorkans :lol:

    the hubby had a guy call him the other day at 8pm wanted him to produce an html email by next morning .... after a few minutes of begging and pleading on the guy's part ... he says, "come-on please, i want to do business with you cause you're black." .... the hubby looked bewildered for a second and almost had to second-guess it for a min because of his "close-ties" with the "african-american" community :lol: ... "no im not, sorry sir." :roll:

    folks.... what ya gonna do :study:


    on a side note, im thinking of writing a book on photographing black people ... guess whose gonna help me :lmao:
     
  10. Osmer_Toby

    Osmer_Toby TPF Noob!

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    actually, darker skin absorbs & reflects light differently than lighter skin, and so often you have to adjust up to 1.5 to 2 stops to compensate. someone not experienced with photographing darker skinned subjects may not realize this instinctively, and often the results are pretty bad. perhaps this is to what your prospective customer was referring. actually, the same applies in the other direction for albino or very pale scandinavian subjects.

    sigh. if only we could all see the inner light of our fellow humans. i know this sounds corny, but it is absolutely true- we all have an inner light, and its hue is not dependant on skin color.

    at any rate, keep in mind the f-stop adjustments if you are going to be doing portraits of people on either extreme of the tonal scale.
     
  11. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    See, I'm assuming that if someone is contacting me to do their portrait I have a basic understanding of the light meter in my camera. For a studio setup most photographers won't be using a reflective light meter so it would make no difference the color of the skin.
     
  12. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    thats just it, u guys are not "african-american" (at least not to my knowledge :shock: ) and know the proper procedure for shooting different skin tones :lol:

    just cause im a woman doesnt mean i dont know a man's pair of shoes if i see one :?

    just cause my dr. is a male doesnt mean he doesnt know what he's talking about ... ya feel me?

    i just think people dont respect the craft of photography enough and they think its based on quija boards and craft magic :roll:

    and if this is the case, why is it that over 98% of my clients are caucasian and have never asked me this question? "can u photograph me cause im white?" ... i dont buy it ... i know what his deal was :lol:

    my hubby is doing color corrections on a black male super model right now, prepping him for catalogue print ... and his colors are accurate
     

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