John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

What photographers are thinkin bout when you're in front of them


The mind of a photographer in action is a hectic one...

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait - DeMato in street shooting.JPG

The amount of snap decisions made before we hit the shutter button is insane.


Recently, a client pointed out to me that when I am in the middle of a session, my face looks super focused and intense.

That got me thinking - what exactly am I thinking about that makes my face look that way?

Here’s a sampling of some of the stuff that runs through my mind before I hit the shutter button before every single shot:

  • Is this the right lens for this shot?

  • How does the background look with her sitting in front of it?

  • Should I frame this as a wide shot or close-up?

  • Do I re-frame that person in the background out or just wait until they move?

  • ...and now, someone else decided to walk into the shot - HURRY UP ALREADY!

  • Do I move her a little to the left or right, hmmm - I think left looks more flattering...

  • Oh shit, now she looks a little slouchy, tell her to sit up straight…

  • And now her neck looks unflattering, tell her to jam her forehead towards the camera to clean that up and tighten up the jawline…

  • Dammit - now her blouse moved into a weird direction, tell her to fix it…

  • Her left eye is covered by her bang, tell her to move it and not tuck it behind the ear...

  • Should she fold her hands? Wait, maybe she’s not a hand-folder - ask her to change up what she’s doing with her hands and arms and see what she naturally does….

  • “NO, don’t cross your arms, you look defensive - try something else, please.” Haha, she just folded her hands - of course that happened, :)

  • Okay, this is shaping up - let me inspire some personality out of her with a stupid comment that will generate a positive expression, but, before I do, lemme make sure Im happy with this frame.

  • “I’m too lazy to get off my ass and pose you myself, so, I want you to do all the work!”

  • ...aaaaaand, there’s a hint of a smile...BINGO!

  • TAKES PICTURE - then, reviews it quickly in the back of the camera...

  • SHIT, IT’S OUT OF FOCUS - time to repeat the whole process again.

This mental process is repeated several hundred times throughout a branded lifestyle portrait session, so, it stands to reason why I basically collapse of exhaustion in the cab ride home from every single branded lifestyle portrait session.

It may be draining, but man, it sure is a pretty amazing way to spend a day, :)

How do you spend your day? What problem solving do you tackle when working with your clients?

Please share your thoughts here.

PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you, because I care, :)