“Sometimes the camera is something you could hide behind in dealing with difficult situations and through the camera you can express yourself and how you feel. Difficulties strengthen the mind just as labor does the body.” ~Elizabeth "Tex" Williams
Your head shot portrait is often the first thing people see, and the last thing they remember, so make it a great first impression.
Shante has been a blast to work with as we work through this project, but recently while reviewing the images from a session, one image jumped right out at me.
Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others. ~Orson Welles
Autumn 2010, a few months before her wedding, one of my brides, Ebony, decided to take part in a formal bridal dress session. I've always loved seeing large, fine art prints of brides. There was just something majestic and regal about it.
This was my first time working with the amazingly talented, Timothy Cabell, of Savannah, GA. Timothy is an award winning and internationally competitive Hair and Makeup Artist. The session took place at the SCAD stables, located just outside of Savannah on the South Carolina side of the border. My wonderful lighting assistant was Hair stylist and educator, Shameka LeCounte, of Jacksonville Florida. Dress and accessories provided by David's Bridal Savannah.
Back around 2014 I had the pleasure of meeting Menakshi while visiting Dubai. A lovely British model, Menakshi was just absolutely amazing to work with.
I had sent here a vision board for doing a boudoir themed photo session with the details that I wanted to emphasize at the time. Items from metallic flash tattoos, to a loose-end fishtail braid. I wanted to emphasize not only the beauty of the subject, but also how the subject embraced the light.
Like with most of my boudoir shoots, I've never posted them online, because they are intended to be printed in an album or an image display box, but I am sharing with you on this throwback Thursday.
Tips for your boudoir sessions:
- RELAX. Don't force the session. This is a vulnerable time for some, but really should be fun. Boudoir and fine art should not be about the sexuality of the subject,but the ESSENCE of the subject. That "hidden room" of their personality that very few are able to see, masked by the physical facade.
- Conceptualize and plan. One of the things that makes awkward situations more comfortable, is a sense of familiarity. Knowing the intended looks, direction, themes, props, accessories and other things will make the time not only fly by, but make it more fun for the subject.
- The light is in control. Whether artificial or natural light, the light should set the mood. Use as much, or as little as needed to set a mood. Find ways to shape it, bounce it, color it, and let the light do most of the work for you.
- BONUS: Remember, the photographer and subject are teammates working with the light.
Also, don't be afraid to experiment. While I was loving the braid, by the end of the session, I wanted to try a "messy" look with her hair, and I think it worked. What do you think? Please leave your comments below!