Often people struggle with getting that little bit of extra out of a portrait, now I never claim to be an expert on this (I think no-one really is), but over time I found out that it often helps to let the model “act”, in fact I always describe photography as acting on 1/4000 of a second.
This is our model Bertrie and she is going through several expressions, by converting the images to BW I added a little bit of extra mood, which for me works very well with these shots.
When you’re shooting a portrait try to work through different emotions with your subject, some can be subtle, some can be extreme, but keep playing. Now some people will say “my subject doesn’t have any emotions to go through” and I disagree, of course she/he may not be as expressive as this model (and many others) but there is always something you can squeeze out of your model. It often helps to first play around with them, have some fun before the photoshoot, make some jokes, make them laugh, but most of all make them feel relaxed.
A good photoshoot should never feel like a photoshoot, it should feel like “fun” or “acting” in other words a “flow”, as soon as you let your subject pose too static I often find the results lacking and “boring”. So the next time you do a shoot make sure to COACH your model, and I think you will be surprised.