Three portraits

During a session (for me) it’s very important to capture something that is “unique” although I know that everything has already been done at least once or twice (probably more) I still try to steer away from the “standard” beauty shot, and don’t get me wrong… there is nothing wrong with a beauty shot but for me… well it’s a bit “boring” to do myself.


So how do you approach something like this.
I always try to get something from my model, it can be a very subtle expression or something more.
In the following shot I went for the more relaxed expression.
Just let the model look away and let her think of someone that is coming over the hill, the fun part is that every model will give you a different expression.

Susanna December 20 2013-4-Edit

For the next shot we added a little bit more expression 😀
I told Suzanna to mess up her hair and scream her longs out (without making sound, which is very important if you don’t want the neighbors to call the police, because some models…. well they CAN scream). We once did this during a show and my model misunderstood that she could not make any sound…. I’m serious we never had so many people at our booth 😀

Susanna December 20 2013-37-EditAs you can see this is a totally different expression (same model) but als different from a beauty shot.
For the last one I went for the more “ring” like image, just cover the face of the model and let one (or two) eyes just peep through the hair, for me this is always a very powerful shot.

Susanna December 20 2013-44-EditNow do realize that not every model is willing to do this, you will have to gain her/his trust, and some models just only want to be “beautiful” in front of the camera, I have to be honest with you guys, I do have some models that are only in for the “beautiful” images… but over time I find those models to be disappearing from my shortlist and being replaced with models that go for the image and not just for the images that they look good in. In the end we are story tellers so the next time you have a photoshoot throw away all the rules about the model being beautiful and try to create something with expression.


Also light is very important of course, as you can see in the shots above I changed light for the different expressions, I won’t say you can’t use something… but think about it, the first light setup also works with a screaming images, but it will look different, and the way an image looks will also enhance the feeling the viewer gets from the image of course. A horror movie is much more intense and scary when it’s shot in the dark in an old house instead of in the bright sun on a beautiful grass hill…..


And finally think about toning.
Toning is incredibly important in my work and will really give the image the final “make over”.
Good luck.