This question has many answers and will vary from photographer to photographer, so let’s look at it from my perspective so you can get an idea of what to expect should you hire me for your commercial head shots, creative portrait, environmental portrait or children’s portraiture session.
Let’s begin with a commercial head shot. A commercial session can either be shot in my home studio, or at your workplace. I can photograph just you, or your entire staff. Depending on the numbers involved, a staff shoot will give each participant anything between two and fifteen minutes. If you are in my studio and we are working exclusively then expect the session to last around an hour.
My role is to show you how to look your best in a photograph, and to do this I need to teach you what to do and how to do it.
How often during a typical day will you think about what your expression is doing ? I’m hoping you answered, rarely. It’s just not something we consciously do, our expressions take care of themselves, or at least our subconscious does. That is, until we step foot in front of a mirror or a camera. Probably the only times we are completely conscious of the expression on our faces. Where a mirror allows us to stare right back at ourselves we have the ability to adjust what we’re doing immediately, but when we look into a camera we lose that luxury and have no idea what our faces look like. This is where I come in, it’s part of my job to let you know whether your face looks good or not. In essence, I become your mirror.
I will coach you through the entire session, my goals being to get your mind off your face, and for you to forget you’re in front of a camera. This is when the magic happens.
During our session we’ll constantly be reviewing the images, making small tweaks where necessary in order for us to achieve our goals for the shoot. I always shoot tethered, which means that once the images are taken they are immediately sent to my computer which gives us both instant feedback and to keep us on track.
So as you can see, I want you to enjoy the experience and to take home more than just the images we shot. I want you to take home a new you, and two hours is all it takes.
The one hour time scale is pretty much transferable between types of portrait, so the same will apply for creative, environmental, and children’s sessions. However, as you would expect the structure of each genre is as different as the images are. Creative and environmental we spend more time in context, and with children more time in creating an atmosphere of trust and understanding. I’ll expanding at length on the process of photographing the little ones in further posts.
I hope that I’ve given you a little insight into my process, if you have any questions, then please do leave a comment below or get in touch using your preferred means.