How I Shoot Portraits

Rarely do I place the subject in a portrait studio, but I will if requested. Usually I am asked to make the portraits as “natural” as possible, which is a challenge because along with being natural looking, there needs to be the correct composition and lighting to convey the feeling of a portrait. If not done with care, the end result can look more like a snapshot than a portrait.

The look of natural lighting is important, but often this can lead to harsh shadows and highlights that can be unflattering. Therefore, I have developed a style that uses additional subtle “fill” lighting that takes the edge off the contrast.

I will always attempt to make the portrait subject feel comfortable and relaxed, and will take as much time as possible to make sure this happens. Children, especially, need to enjoy the experience, so I’ll usually let them play and romp around — and then catch them in a portrait-like pose.

I always shoot in color, but will sometimes, especially if requested, render the final work as black-and-white or in a subdued palette.