Meet Melissa -- she’s a gentle soul. I’m not saying she doesn’t have a million other attributes that will guarantee her future success, like being smart, funny and clearly a razor sharp thinker. But her gentle nature is one of the things that strikes a person when you first meet her, it has nothing to do with the outer package (beautiful, I know), her warmth glows from within.
So how do I approach a session that originates from the inside and rolls outward? Well, to be honest, it takes a little time and shines brightest with a healthy dose of trust. I worked with Melissa for over two hours. I can shoot a session more quickly if need be, but all things being equal, I believe authentic gestures come out over time. It’s these gestures and expressions that come forth as self consciousness falls away -- and it’s spontaneous, self expression that I look for with my lens. It’s never about being over posed and told to smile!
The first image with the wisteria was created at the very beginning of our session. Once you can see beyond her stunning beauty, you may find the intrigue of her quiet reserve. I see mystery, calm and strength. The middle two images show how I have begun to earn her trust and we are really having fun. Sessions are always pretty high energy and we laugh a lot. I guild, nudge and strive to create an environment where freedom reigns! The final image is one of the last of the session, the sun has almost set. We’d been on a little journey together and this last one shows how fun loving Melissa is, suggests her promise for the future, and momentarily captures her free spirit.
Once the session is complete, I get to quietly mine the images we’ve created to portray the heart of a young soul. It’s wonderful work. If you’d like to see the rest of the portraits I presented to Melissa and her family, click here.