Modern technology has changed the world of photography. With smartphones, computers, photo-apps, photo-sharing websites such as Instagram, millions of images are taken and shared on a daily basis. The most popular genre of photography is the selfie, which accounts for almost a third of all photographs taken, so with all these images why would you want to have your photographs taken in a professional photographic studio? Here we will look at the benefits of a studio photo-shoot in the world of the selfie and the difference that professional touch can make.
The history of portraiture and self-portraiture is fascinating. Having your image captured by an artist was, in the past, a rare experience and mostly the preserve of the upper classes. Many artists are famous for their self-portraits and once photography had been invented it didn’t take long for the early photographers to place themselves in front of the lens. Although probably an apocryphal story, it is said that the first photographic portrait ever taken was a self-portrait recorded by Robert Cornelius in 1839.
Of course, there are big differences between Cornelius’ first ever selfie and those taken today on smartphones. Today they are taken prolifically by ordinary folk, celebrities, politicians and world leaders alike; even the Pope takes them. The selfie phenomenon has been analysed by philosophers and psychiatrists, exploited by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, and castigated by the sanctimonious anti-selfie brigade; Tony Blair and Barack Obama received particularly bad press for taking them at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. It is estimated that the typical Millennial will take around 45,000 selfies during their lifetime.
Of course, selfies are fun and tell many stories of where we have been and what we have done. However, even if we manipulate them before sharing them, they rarely make us look our best. Distorted by the wide-angle camera phone lens and limited by the arm’s length or selfie-stick framing, even if we follow Kim Kardashian’s advice on how to take the perfect selfie: “Hold your phone high; know your angle; know your lighting; and no duckface!”, they fall hugely short of the quality we would expect from a proper photographic portrait.
The professional studio photoshoot
While the useful lifetime of a selfie is short and each selfie will soon be replaced by another, the useful lifetime of a studio photographic portrait can be a lifetime and even longer.
A studio photoshoot will make you look your best and, with the right photographer, will also tell your story more effectively than any selfie ever could. It might be your personal story; the story of you and your family; mark an important occasion in your lifetime, or anything else you want to say. A professional photographer is able to employ a wide range of skills and use a highly sophisticated camera and lighting equipment along with post-processing in order to create a high level of artistry that you would be proud to hang on your wall.
In our Edinburgh studio, we also have a stylist, a make-up artist, a nail technician, and a retouch specialist who all work together with our professional photographers to make sure that you really do look your best. It’s a great team and one which will guarantee that your photoshoot will be lots of fun and an experience to really remember.
We say long live the selfie, it has an important role to play, but if you want a portrait to be proud of, then you can’t do better than enjoy a photoshoot experience at our Edinburgh studio.