The minute Melissa walked into my studio I noticed how beautiful she looked. Her long graceful neck had a very regal quality, and her facial features were classically gorgeous. Sensing her apprehension about having attention drawn to herself, we began to chat about her reason for today’s session.
Melissa’s profession requires updated corporate photos, but she has been procrastinating because, now that she was in her 50's, she didn’t want to go in a huge warehouse studio with all the young models around. As we talked over coffee she began to relax a bit, and actually seemed excited about getting started.
She loved the personal attention she received during her hair and makeup session with Valentina, and by the time she had finished with her, she was smiling. We selected a very casual but classy outfit for the corporate shots. As you can see in this photo, she is the image of confidence. Her hair and make up give her an air of authority without compromising her femininity.
It took a little coaching, but she finally agreed to indulge my inner diva and let me “fancy” her up, just a little, for a glamour shot. We gave her make up a more dramatic look, added some texture to her hair, and just look at the end results. Nothing short of stunning!
I knew Melissa was beautiful when she walked into my studio, when she came back to review the proofs and select her photos, she knew it too!
I really hope the photoshoot experience changed her perception about herself.
Here is her Testimonial:
"I usually feel very uncomfortable in front of a camera, so I was attracted by the fact that Valerie photographs women in a private environment. Having my make-up done and photos taken in the intimacy of her studio apartment made me so much more relaxed, and Valerie and her make-up artist Valentina were so down to earth. I think is then reflected in the naturalness of the photographs, which is what I was hoping for".
As a Portrait Photographer I photograph a lot of women of all shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities. My clients always look elegant, feminine, confident, capable, strong, they are all amazingly beautiful...and yet, women keep telling me "I am not photogenic". Enough is enough. Next time you hear someone say they are not photogenic, please send them this post.
Yes, You Are Very Photogenic!
Don't ever think otherwise. If you don’t believe me, then it’s due to a lack of understanding about the true meaning of the term “photogenic.” Let me explain.
According to my dictionary definition, photogenic means: suitable for being photographed especially because of visual appeal . As a photographer who is constantly seeking out subjects with visual appeal, I can attest that you have it.
There are many types of beauty in the world, ranging from glorious sunsets and raindrops on a leaf to the compassionate look in a mother’s eyes. A photogenic scene may be a specific landscape taken at a particular hour with just the perfect clouds, like the image below.
Of all the people I have met in the world, I have yet to meet a woman who is not truly beautiful. It is up to the photographer to recognize her beauty, focus on it and showcase it skilfully through the camera lens.
It’s time to erase all thoughts that you are not photogenic from your head.
Photographing the Beauty of People
With portraiture, I aim to capture the grace and attractiveness of each individual. This isn’t accomplished by hiding a woman’s features with makeup or props, or by setting her up in unnatural, formal poses. The allure of each woman is found in her genuine character and how she expresses herself in real life. Whether you are an ambitious businesswoman, a bride glowing with joy or a frazzled mom chasing your toddler around the park, you are displaying beauty that can be captured on camera.
It’s up to the photographer to bring your beauty forward. When your mouth turns up gently with delight or your eyes crinkle in contemplation, the photographer needs to recognize the unspoken beauty of those moments. Along with the right lighting and a complementary background, every woman can be featured in a breathtaking work of art. When photographic expertise is practiced,
every subject, action and scene is highly photogenic.
For instance I asked my client on the right to dance and have fun while I was trying to capture the perfect shot of her looking natural, smiling, dancing and looking at me.
I took around 10 images to get THIS one.
What’s the Secret to Looking Great in pictures?
Your photographer is responsible for determining the general composition and lighting, and setting the right apertures, shutter speeds, depth of field and contrast ratios. So what can you do to ensure that your beauty shines?
One tip that rises above the rest is: "Do not stress out about it". Women show their most beautiful features when relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. Easier said than done, right? Most people tense up in front of a lens. Yet it’s up to the photographer to make you comfortable.
What I usually tell my client during a photo session to make her relax is that for the next 5/10 minutes, she can move around, pose how she likes, have fun, be serious, laugh, move like a model, play with her hair, hands, body...
She does whatever she likes and it makes her relax and Enjoy more!
My clients always come to me with doubts and looking a bit shy. But after a while they understand that it's not about looking perfect in front of the camera, it's by being themselves so I can capture their true beauty.
Forget Those Bad Photos from Your Past
It’s impossible to look great on camera with a fake smile plastered on your face. We’ve all suffered from years of bad photos that have us running for cover whenever anyone yells, “Say cheese!” These unattractive photos represent only the work of a bad photographer, not the real beauty of the subject.
For the same reason that most people shy away from the stage, it’s normal to want to hide from the camera. Yet an expert photographer will make sure that you forget about the camera and that your expressions derive smoothly from genuine emotion. Be natural and be yourself, and you’ll look beautiful in pictures too.
False Beauty Crafted by Industry
We are confronted by stunning models on every magazine cover and advertisement. While they are real women, their beautiful image isn’t 100% real. A team of stylists using sophisticated equipment crafted that image. The woman was photographed in a studio with a flurry of assistants prompting her every move. Afterwards, the image was enhanced further via Photoshop and other graphic tools.
Make no mistake; this type of beauty is entirely artificial. Don’t fall for the false insecurities that these pictures may cause.
Rachel came to me a while ago now. She is an actor, producer, writer, coach, filmmaker and an artistic director. When she arrived in my studio she told me her partner was a photographer as well but she wanted to see herself in the eyes of someone else and maybe from a woman point of view. The session went very well, I helped her to pose and tried to make her relax to get the best shots possible. We managed to get beautiful photos at the end. She bought quite a lot of photos as I am sure she was very happy to see herself so elegant and feminine. It was a great challenge and a pleasure to have her in my studio.
Amber is a 18 years old young lady who came to my studio with a little bit of stress I think. She got her make-up done, she looked amazing with her beautiful long hair. I wanted to get a portrait of a young woman, natural, simple so she could look sexy and charming without noticing. Her images are a reflection of her true beauty as natural as she is. Wonderful job Amber!