One of the jobs of being a photographer is quickly getting to know my models who are standing in front of the camera. What makes them laugh? How do I get a serious, but relaxed expression? How can I direct them on body movement without making them look stiff and uncomfortable? Every session is unique.
When Alyssia stood in front of my camera we had just met (in person) and only spent a few minutes going over her wardrobe. We decided to start with a casual look in jeans and jacket. I thought a natural and comfortable look would keep things relaxed. Alyssia and I got to know each other as I directed her through this first series of images. I could see that there were moments when she was unsure of herself, so I kept talking.
For her next outfit, Alyssia also kept it casual, but this time a more dressy casual with jeans and sweater. We moved between the full body and head shots. I started to see some of Alyssia’s nervousness and put the camera down. We talked a little bit more, and as I saw her relax, I picked up the camera and pushed the shutter a few more times. I repeated this a few times so the camera became less of a trigger (no pun intended) for Alyssia's nervousness.
For the next series, Alyssia went all out with an elegant dress. I was unconvinced about my backdrop and took a few quick photos then changed out the backdrop to a darker color that complimented the dress better.
I noticed Alyssia’s tattoo and asked her to turn her back to the camera so that I could photograph the tattoo in a profile portrait. This gave Alyssia some time to not think about what to do in front of the camera. Her shoulder was the canvas.
We decided on one final outfit change and had some fun with a box fan. The fan created a bit of movement to Alyssia's hair and the seated position created some additional options for her portraits. It also ended the session on a high note with some laughter as we tried to get things just right. It's all part of the experience, and part of the fun.