Keepin’ it relaxed! – I get a lot of assignments as an editorial portrait photographer here in Scotland, and last week I assembled in a folder the relaxed and honest portraits you see here, mostly shot on recent editorial portrait assignments for newspapers and magazine clients. I shoot a lot of work that I don’t show as much as I should, so recently I’ve begun posting some of it on my Instagram channel, and now here.
Over on LinkedIn (let’s connect!) I recently saw a nice post by a fellow photographer Lauren Psyk about her warm and creative headshots she shoots for local business people down in Brighton area, and it made me think of my own portrait assignments, and how I approach them.
I like to travel light, unencumbered by lots of equipment. A lot of my portrait assignments are with busy CEOs, folks with not a lot of time. I have to work fast and with what I’m given. But I’m good at that after all these years, it suits me, I enjoy it.
Nothing beats the moment of walking into a building, a home, an office, looking to see what access you get, where the light is coming from, or looking for a colourful wall, or an architectural oddity that may be good as a backdrop. Sometimes there’s a moment of dread as you search for it not seeing it, but it always comes good.
Looking for some relaxed and honest photographic portraits of yourself or staff, or for an editorial or corporate article? Let me know, I’ll bring my chat and my 50mm lens and we’ll work it all out. Keeping it relaxed, keeping it honest.
For me it is the person that matters most. In my photos I want the real person to come across, to see a little of who they are. I want relaxed and honest portraits, that let you size up the sitter yourself. I like to keep it natural, and if you excuse the pun, focus on the person.
I saw another post recently talking also about how to edit a portrait session. If the person is super happy during the shoot, do I send in the shots from that one moment when for some reason they looked angry or their expression makes them look devious? No, I try to edit to how I found them during the shoot. Of course I bear in mind the article, and the client’s story, but I’m not out to embarrass people, to make them look foolish. As I’ve said to many sitters over the years “it’s not in my interest to make you look foolish, it doesn’t help me.”
And as with all portraits and photography on a wider level, I believe the wining ingredient is your ability to relate to people, to be able to talk to them and communicate. Time may be short, I might only have 10 minutes with the Secretary of State, 2-minutes with the CEO, or the lady may be nervous, but if you’ve done a little research, have a question in mind you can ask, and get the conversation going, something that appeals to them, then you’re half way done.
Then it’s the easy bit, the exposure, the focus, the background, and the expressions…
Looking for some relaxed and honest portraits of yourself or staff, or for an article? Let me know, I’ll bring my chat and my 50mm lens and we’ll work it all out. Keeping it relaxed, keeping it honest.
Thanks for reading,