I’ve been working with entrepreneurs and small business owners who need professional portraits that speak accurately to their brand, that show them in their best light and tell their audience exactly who they are (usually online) before they meet them in person. So photography is a really important step for them, and a step I take seriously – because their brand is in my hands!
I’ll run through some of my secrets to photographing men. They are a different breed and handle themselves quite differently to women. Today I’ll introduce Dr Jesse Green. An amazing individual, he’s an orthodontist and currently building a business that helps orthodontists fall back in love with their profession.
Secret #1 – mindset
What’s going on in the inside, will show on the outside. Jesse had a mild case of nerves – this is quite normal. Being photographed is a weird experience and your subject can feel like a bit of showpony. If he feels a bit dorky, it will show, so the way around this was to tell Jesse to forget about the camera and instead keep his mind focused on his audience and his top clients. Natural posturing emerges and there’s a sense of strength and ease about him coming through.
I’m a big believer in ‘letting people be’ when it comes to creating authentic portraits. You can’t just jump in there and bark orders like stand here, do that, it just doesn’t work. In order to find the right poses for Jesse, the first thing to do was chat to him, observe his natural movements and way of holding himself and to then build on that. That way, unique magic can happen and we were thrilled at the spontanaeity of this capture.
Jesse came from an army background, so his tendancy was to stand flat-footed and square. I encouraged him to relax and wait for a bus, which tilts the shoulders off-centre and gives shape to his form and stance.
Men can take side lighting well as it gives some chiseling and shape. Just be sure to still have clean light that also fills the eye sockets. However you decide to light your man, always keep an eye on the eyes, because the eyes have it. It’s the eyes that the viewer will connect with.
When Jesse smiles for real, different muscles move in his face. His eyes light up and the warmth and engagement comes through. Some men are toothy grinners, other men do the half-smile-lips-closed thing. Find the right laugh and feel for your male subject, and click where his natural smile lands and when he feels at ease.
So there you go, my five secrets to photographing men successfully.
Thank you Dr Jesse Green, you made a stellar subject!
If you’d like to engage my services to capture your professional brand portraits, all the info you need is here.