How the stylish look and feel their best
finding which approach works for you on portrait session in my seaside homestudio
There’s nothing quite like a natural portrait session by a professional photographer to put life into perspective.
Last year I asked my husband to update my bio picture in our garden when the summer blooms were glorious. I hated it.
This experience wasn’t quite life changing, but it made me take a leap to evaluate my own business – how can I make natural portrait sessions less intimidating?
How to do the smile?
The perfect smile is a myth – banish it from your mind. I believe if you feel comfortable and calm and relaxed a genuine connection with the photographer will draw out a spontaneous titter, chortle, grin, belly laugh or attractive smile as you get to know each other. Which is why choosing the right photographer for your outlook on life is important.
How to look natural?
After a natter and a giggle, there’s a quiet time when your eye’s sparkle and your body relaxes. This is the moment your photographer will anticipate and record without you even realising it. During this session in Brockewell Park I asked J. to see what the runners were up to over my shoulder, a simple question created the opportunity to create natural portraits in a relaxed setting.
How to do casual?
A casual snapshot, where you look fresh and relaxed is deceptively hard. It’s a careful balance of spontaneity, anticipation and timing. Look again at the lead up to J’s favourite photographs of the day. How did we achieve it?
I worked hard to be friendly and encouraging, we reviewed the images every few minutes and I listened to what J asked for – relaxed, happy portraits that show a fun day in the park.
Expert tip – to get the right ‘feel’ for the photos I said: “look right, look left, look towards the camera, smile like you’ve won the lottery”.
How to do relaxed?
The first thing that happens on a portrait experience is a ‘session warm up’. This involves sifting through outfit choices, looking at location options and refuelling with a coffee. For the first 10 minutes the camera doesn’t even come out of the bag. Professional photographers are experienced in helping you find your mojo, often this involves listening to your wishes and asking the right questions.
How to do the anti-pose?
Most people feel comfortable when they can sit on a bench, lean on a wall or prop themselves against a lamp post. During this park session in Herne Hill I planned 3 locations, each with stone steps. After that it was simply a case of asking J to sit down naturally as she would when greeting a toddler.
Look at the sequence of photos below to get a picture of how natural portraits are created without looking too posed. Expert tip – to make the photos feel spontaneous I started wide and said: “I’m testing my composition, now I’ll step in closer, almost done, you can stop frowning now”.
Ready to book?
For more advice on natural portrait sessions or to book a natural portrait by an Isle of Wight photographer, get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.
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