I was contacted by a lovely lady, Sophie, who needed some new portrait and headshots for her work and social media. Another photographer had recently let Sophie down with unflattering photos so she was understandably nervous. Here’s how I go about reassuring the people I photograph and take photos that they love…
When we first meet on outdoor shoots I will set-up and ask for you to walk a few steps towards me while I photograph you walking. I’ll ask you to repeat that 2 or 3 times. I do this because it helps relax the mood and is a lovely way to start a portrait or headshot session.
Most people have nerves about how well the photos will come out. In this case, I knew Sophie had extra doubts because of a recent negative experience with a different photographer.
I needed to build that trust so I positioned her by a nice scene and I took two photos. The first was straight on, no positioning, no posing, nothing from me, a basic snapshot photo. The second shot I turned her and posed her in a way I knew would flatter her features. I’m not going to show the first unflattering snap-shot photo, no-one would like that, but here is the second photo…
When Sophie saw the difference between the before and after, she instantly loved my second photo and in turn, she visibly relaxed which makes a big difference to the photos. She had regained her trust in photographers, which meant she wasn’t as tensed up and her expressions were now much more relaxed.
During a headshot photoshoot, I will show you some of the photos in the back of the camera as we go along. Some of these are to keep the trust going, some to highlight how a slight tweak to the last pose will really help.
Here are some of the photos from our portrait session:
You may have noticed I used external lighting. On the day of the photoshoot, it was drab, grey with light rain showers. The photos would have looked very flat and boring without a boost from lighting.
That extra little kick of light turns a drab photo into something much more pleasing. I love using lighting in my photos and I like that I can shoot in any weather, at any time of day or night.
The way I light my photos is now really helping me create my own style of photography and separate me from natural-light only photographers. If you like the photos I’m taking, yours would look very similar.
If you would like your own portrait or headshots taken,
please visit my portrait photography page or
phone me now on 07828 467 753.
Photography Equipment Used
1x Sony A9
1x 85mm Lens. Shots were between F1.4 and F4
1x XPro Godox Trigger
1x Foldable softbox
1x Light Stand with two sandbags