Recently, I asked my social media followers to take part in a poll experiment where they were asked to choose their favourite photographs from four sets of two similar images, all shot at the same couples photoshoot. Once I had received all of the poll results, I published them and made a note on each image to indicate which images were My favourites (the photographer) and which were the clients favourite. The purpose of the poll was to see if my follower's views were similar to mine or to my clients.
You can see from the images above and below that the results were 50/50.
When I am shooting on location there are so many factors to consider. Firstly, I pay attention to the available and changing light source allowing time for many position adjustments to compensate for the movement of light, particularly on a sunny day. Composing the shots almost instinctively I consider the background area for every shot and very quickly decide how much of the image I would like to be seen in full focus. I gently encourage my clients to move freely; in a way that I know will compliment their features and attributes, taking into consideration any concerns over personal imperfections that the client has already notified me about, then adapting my positioning accordingly.
When I judge an image, I combine all of these factors to ascertain a level of likeability. When a client views their image, often the initial focus is on themselves; quite naturally and their secondary focus gravitates towards the qualities of the rest of the image.
Because of this I ALWAYS include a variety of images in each ‘client gallery’ and find the clients most favored image/s from their galley to be very different from those that I have chosen as the best.