Portrait Photography is not only about having CAMERA skills, but also PEOPLE skills — specifically, knowing how to make her subjects feel comfortable during a session and guiding them into the most flattering light and positions.
Here is an example from the other day. I had an Executive Headshot session, which is typically 30 to 40 minutes.
The first set of images below were images taken in the very beginning of the shoot. They are nice portraits and, for some photographers, the session would have ended right there.
Instead, we kept going and after some talking (for fun, not about the shoot) and some guidance… the images went from “nice” to “LOVE!”
First Few Shots ==> Nice
Shots Later On ==> Comfort ==> Gorgeousness
Taking aside the difference in the background and jacket, just look at her face. Even her eyes are smiling!
You can’t instruct someone to “look relaxed” or “smile with your entire face”; they do that when they feel at ease with and trust the photographer.
How your subject feels during the shoot ends up being attributes a viewer perceives when they look at the photo.
Just look at the comparison below.
When you look at Image A and Image B, you may feel different things about their abilities, their competency and even their personalities. And they are the same person! That is the power of a headshot.
Who would you hire? Who would you call? Who would you prefer to work with?
That doesn’t mean the last few shots are always the ‘money shots’. Some photographers may choose not to take a single image until their subject is relaxed and ready.
For me, I go right in and start shooting because I think the longer people wait, the more anxiety or nervousness may build. Then I talk to them and guide them throughout their session.
We all have different styles, but the goal is the same.