Anatomy of a portrait couture shoot – Lisa and “the connection”

Before I get to Lisa’s Portrait Couture photo shoot, I wanted to share a little bit about the importance of creating a connection between my subjects and the camera. I have to say I’m amazed by the number of clients I work with who tell me that they’ve never had a good picture taken of themselves, or that they are so painfully camera shy that they break into a sweat when they find themselves in front of a photographer’s lens.

Every time I photograph someone who is nervous coming into their shoot, I take it on as a personal challenge to make their photo session one of the easiest and most memorable experiences they’ve ever had in front of a camera. I love to see the reaction at a portrait viewing when a client sees multiple gorgeous photos of themselves for the very first time. It’s such an empowering experience (for me, too!) and they will often say, “is that me?”. I love that!

A big reason I see that type of reaction is because people aren’t used to seeing themselves in that way, with that type of connection with the camera. Of course, having hair and makeup done by a professional stylist helps, but I always tell clients that what they are seeing is 100% them. Sometimes I hear, “well, you must have really Photoshopped me in that image”. Let me just say that I never spend more than two (2) minutes editing an image in Photoshop. And when I do edit an image I am usually just evening out the makeup which was professionally applied prior to the shoot.

One of the many things I teach at photo shoots is how to “connect” with the camera. It’s that connection with the camera, and in turn the viewer, that makes for a powerful and memorable portrait. The connection with the camera is also one of the most difficult things to teach to someone who is not accustomed to being photographed. But once you nail it, it you’ve got it and it is easily repeatable. I might spend a couple of minutes getting the client into the perfect pose, but I won’t take the picture unless I have that connection with the camera.

Lisa has never had a problem connecting. In fact, Lisa does not really fit my “typical” client profile. She’s very comfortable in front of the camera and connects extremely well with the camera. She always brings her “A-Game” to our photo shoots. I’ve photographed Lisa before, but this was her first Portrait Couture photo session. It’s hard to believe that Lisa is just a couple years shy of 50 years old (she said it was ok for me to say that) and that she has one kid in college and another (my godson) in high school!
Go Lisa!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Brian