Please see a Christmas special offer at the very end of this post.
I finally have a spare moment to write a post about portrait shoots… and I thought I’d start with a bespoke portrait shoot I had earlier this year with Simone Bennett. Since our photo shoot Simone and I have become friends and I have learned what a lovely, creative and inspiring person she is, apart from being a fantastic sales and marketing consultant. (She is effective yet ethical, which is very unusual in my experience!) Here are some of the photos from the shoot:
I usually start my portrait sessions with a relaxed atmosphere, having music playing in the background and chatting with the sitter in order to get them feel comfortable so that they can let go of any fears of being in front of the camera.
I ask my portrait sitters to bring along a few outfits so that we can have a few different styles and take different types of photos. Also changing the outfit breaks the session nicely into a few smaller chunks of time in front of the camera and lights, which further makes the whole shoot experience more natural and relaxed for the sitter.
My aim is to make each photo shoot a fun experience. To me, portrait shoot is not about doing a few set poses and practised smiles with the same standard lighting as everyone else… do this, do that, done, next one please. I like to bring out the sitter’s true character by making them actually enjoy being photographed. I’ve met so many people who have said that they hate having their picture taken and that they always look awful in photos – only to see them gradually get out of their shell, act and look natural, laugh and… pose like nobody’s business towards end of the shoot! And surprising themselves by liking the photos I show them during the shoot. I love watching and being part of that process.
It’s not usually long until I start getting some stunning shots – beautiful and natural photos that reflect the personality of the person. You see, while I was chatting and making sure that the sitter is comfortable and enjoying the experience, I was also looking to see what kind of lighting brings the best out of that person’s looks. Everyone is different – no two people have the same face and same personality, so I make sure that I adjust my lighting to bring out the best features of each person.
See in the above photo the subtle shadows on Simone’s face that bring out the beautiful shape of her nose, cheekbones, lips and chin. Those shadows aren’t there just by fluke; they are exactly where I wanted them to be, and I created them by adjusting the lighting to emphasise the natural beauty of her face.
I like to play around with different processing of images so that the sitter gets even more variety in the images from our shoot. Some portraits require a straight-forward businesslike processing, but for various on-line profiles, portraits as artwork for a wall etc. you might like more creative processing.
I’ll end with one of Simone’s (and my) favourites from the shoot:
Xmas special: I offer 10% discount on gift vouchers for all my portrait shoots until 26th December! Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 07951-635802. Give your loved one the gift of a fun experience and beautiful photos to enjoy for decades to come.
(I do not do less-than-cost-price shoots just to lure you in and then subject you to hard sell of prints you don’t necessarily even want. My shoots have no hidden costs, no up-sell talk – just a pleasurable experience, and all the images and prints that are already included in the price!)