Every week I try to come up with a topic for my blog. Some weeks are easier than others. This week was pretty easy. Over the weekend, I went to my sister’s house to deliver some tomatoes that we had grown in our garden. There were way too many for us to eat, so we decided to share. Anyway, as I was getting out of the car, I noticed that I had received a text from my husband. The text was as follows:
Steve: We need Jesus
I laughed out loud and sent him a Memoji of me laughing and then responded: What brought that about? Don’t we already have Jesus?
Steve: Sorry. Supposed to be Jam
I immediately laughed again because jam and Jesus are not the same! Basically, he didn’t really check what he had sent me and each of us thought the other was crazy. Funny how that happens. I know it was just an instance of autocorrect or whatever, but there was still interference in our communication. That is why I like to have pre-session consultations so that we are all on the same page.
Have you heard the saying, “Clothes make the man”? People do tend to perceive you a certain way depending on how you are dressed. It can also determine how you feel about yourself, as well. I know I’ve worn outfits where I just knew I was cute. You couldn’t tell me anything! Well, the wardrobe in portrait sessions is very important too. During my pre-session consultations, I communicate to my client how important their wardrobe choice is. I try to find out what feeling are they trying to reflect in their portraits. Do they want something dressy and classic, something colorful and fun or something simple and comfortable? I do my best to find out what they are looking for to assist them in selecting outfits. Being able to share their vision with me always makes my job easier and more successful. Regardless of what they select, I do provide them with certain rules to follow to pull the look off flawlessly. In some instances, I am given carte blanche so I can pretty much do what I want but most of the time it is all on them. This last option means that they totally trust me. It could also mean that they haven’t the slightest idea of what they want. All they know is that they want it to be pretty.
It is very important to me to have my clients’ personalities shine through in their portraits. The reason for this is because I want them to be able to look at their images and be able to see the beauty of who they are. I would absolutely hate for them to look at these images and say something like, “That’s a beautiful portrait but we are nothing like those people in it.” For the most part, I let my clients figure it out. I’m not really strict on clothing, so if my clients go a little beyond my rules and recommendations, so be it. As long as they are happy with what I create for them, then I too, am happy.
Below are a few images from different sessions where my clients stayed within my rules. You can see the cohesiveness in the colors and feel of the image.
Now, I have had sessions where the communication was not all that clear. This one session in particular was quite interesting. This gentleman was visiting from out of town for a convention of some sort. He called me last minute stating that he needed some headshots before he had to leave. Since his hotel was not too far from me, I took the job. He explained to me that it was for his book cover and that his publicist needed these images ASAP. He went on to explain that I needed to take the images as if he were talking to someone which is what I did.
Funny thing is when I sent his publicist the images, she was wondering why were his hands like that. I explained what I was told and then she laughed and said, “No, that is not what we wanted. He just needed a regular headshot.” So, with that said, I sent her a cropped image of one of the ones she liked, which was this one.
Lastly, whenever I am given full creative power, I usually explain my thought process as I go through it. Most of the time it comes from pure inspiration. People and places inspire me and I create from that frame of mind. I usually like rather simple setups that don’t take away from the subject. I’m not big on fancy sets but every once in a while I might have a simple, pretty, or interesting background. You might be able to tell that these images are using the same type of wraps for both sessions. I wanted an ethereal type of feeling for both of them. Something soft and natural.
Oh, here’s one where they kind of followed my rules but left room for the older kids to be themselves. I really like the Batman and Superman shirts because they really emphasize the relationship between the two of them.
Communication is key, as are clothes and following directions.
“Communication works for those who work at it.” ~ John Powell