Experiences: Portrait Session

Does the thought of a professional portrait session frighten you?

I have conducted a number of portrait sessions over the last six months and they always start with ‘I don’t smile’, this statement seems to be the sign of anxiety over having our picture taken in a formal setting. Now whether this stems from all those years of having our school photographs taken I am not sure.

However, I’ll let you in on something about me, I DON’T like having my picture taken, I immediately see my flaws, no one else sees them but then it is our nature to be self critical of oneself is it not? The problem is, without a smile we can look unwelcoming to onlookers, and in business this isn’t how we wish to project ourselves to prospective clients and indeed in most instances that isn’t how we project ourselves, because in life we do smile, we do project body language that will invite someone to talk to us. Of course there are times when we project the opposite but very rarely in business situations.

So, to overcome these perceived barriers I am writing a bit on what to expect if you came to me for a portrait. Firstly, myself and other photographers have no interest in making you look bad, we wouldn’t be in business for very long if we did.  Secondly, unless you have some modelling experience you will not be expected to ‘work it’ for the camera.

Come to me and you will be met with my studio equipment, and yes it can be a little intimidating, however, the backdrop is just a backdrop and the lighting helps smooth out the wrinkles (but nobody has those do they?) plus removes any unwanted dark shadowing which can enhance some features we don’t like. This in mind you will be met with a cup of tea, a slice of cake and you will be invited to sit down and relax; I’ll take a few meter readings while we have a little chat.

Once relaxed, we will take the first few shots; so I can get the measure of how nervous you are. Throughout the shoot we will continue to chat with me giving you a little direction. It is a technique that hairdressers and dentists subconsciously engage in, and it does work in reducing nervous grimaces along with making people more comfortable in this situation. I didn’t realise I did this till a client pointed it out to me, what can I say I come from a family of nurses.

The portrait session comes to a natural end where I have the task of editing the shoot to give you the best images to choose from, and you, well hopefully you’ll go off to conduct your business unscathed from the experience.

Sound like the type of portrait session you want to take part in then drop me a line and let’s have a chat

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