Can’t you just hear the conversation….. Oh, you want some? Too slow!
The expression is everything to a portrait and sometimes its the hardest part of the session. Just think of all the discussion about da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and her smile. Why is her smile so compelling?
Do you have a favorite picture of your self? What were you doing or where was your attention at that moment? Were you working on your smile or was your attention on something fun? Over the years I have had many people show me pictures of themselves saying that this was an example of a great smile. Typically, these images were taken at a moments notice when the subject was engaged in a pleasant activity. When an expression is real, the whole face is working to communicate.
I have collected many tools over my career to get at this whole expression. I’ve talked about this in past posts, the importance of noticing. Keeping an open mind and eye to who is before my camera. Engagement and distraction can be useful tools with children. Play helps them to forget the camera and the flashing while revealing their personality. For our adults, relaxation, comfort, and conversation are essential. We can Reduce the stress for our parents by understanding their goals and dreams for the images. Having a relaxed environment to create the images and fostering a relationship of friendship and trust goes a long way to eliminating stress. This helps everyone to have a great session with images they will enjoy for years to come.
Did you know that Leonardo painted his initials L.V. in the right eye on the Mona Lias? It’s not just in the smile. I found this and other interesting facts about the painting here.