Never Show Your Model Your Camera Screen!

Posted by Valentina Vee on

I see it in photoshoots a lot – the photographer, to appease the model, will show her what she looks like straight from the LCD or OLED screen of his/her camera. I’ve been known to do this as well, when begged. This, however, is a mistake that should be avoided unless you absolutely have to show your subject the picture right away. Why? A few reasons.

First, no matter who you are – Steve Wozniak or Kate Moss – you’re going to be judgmental of your appearance. It’s better not to see what you look like until the shoot is over. Many people get overly self-conscious and tend to lose all hope half-way through the shoot because their shoulders are too big or their chin is too square – features of the human anatomy that are unchangeable!

Second, you need to be able to trust yourself with your lighting setup and not rely on constantly checking your shots in-camera. This is a sign of an inexperienced photographer who has no confidence in their shots.

Third, if the model does like the shot, he or she is likely to want to take a photo of your camera screen and post it to social media. This has happened to me enough times to know to shut it down before it happens. You don’t want blurry, badly-colored photos floating out there in the world and credited to your name.

Fourth (and perhaps most importantly), the photo on your viewfinder looks nothing like the photo you actually took. This is extremely evident with my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, whose OLED screen tends to make colors far yellower and flatter than they actually are. For example, I did a headshot session this morning and to make the actress trust me, I had to show her the photo as it appeared in my editing program to convince her that yes, I actually know what I’m doing.

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In short: DON’T SHOW YOUR DISPLAY SCREEN TO YOUR SUBJECT! Nothing good will come of it.

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