How the stylish look and feel their best
finding which approach works for you on portrait session in my seaside home studio, Ryde
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 my home studio, Ryde I asked K. 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 K’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 K asked for – relaxed, happy portraits that show a confident, accomplished actor.
Expert tip – to get the right ‘feel’ for the photos I asked: “look right, look left, look towards the camera, smile like you’ve won the lottery”. See the last photo below to see what I mean.
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 refueling 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 headshot photoshoot, I planned 3 backgrounds, each with flattering lighting. After that, it was simply a case of asking K to stand naturally as she would when greeting an old friend.
Look at the sequence below to ‘see’ how I flow to create natural headshots 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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