Headshots and More - Shoot with Hypnotherapist Jo Welsh and Her Counsellor Mother Ann - Friday 11 November 2016 – The Tanglewood Practice
It is very easy to assume things about people and their practice and this is no different with Photography than any other profession. In a very competitive market it is seen as increasingly important to specialise and create a brand and style that makes you stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this is to immerse yourself in work that you love. The work itself will shape your practice and your style will develop and emerge naturally. It should be an extension of yourself. That way you will not tire in what can sometimes seem like an unrelenting uphill struggle. I am a firm believer that the best way to learn something is to do it. Pablo Picasso once said, “I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
So as well as understanding the technicalities of Photography , the art of composition and the history and theory behind the medium, a sound foundation in working to strict briefs and improvising on your feet can help you become proficient and expressive and a style will become evident. The problem with this approach is that those seeing the work that you love will often assume that very portfolio demonstrates as much about what you can not do as it does about what you can do. Fortunately many people can see pass this, and so I was very happy to get the call from Jo to provide herself and her Mum some head and environmental portraits to help illustrate their hypnotherapy and counselling work at The Tanglewood Practice.
I am well aware that a large body of my work takes place in dark underground nightclubs or ringside with very sweaty men engaged in intense displays of aggression and skilful proficiency, but up until very recently I often worked as an enabler and mentor with disabled students by day, so a chance to demonstrate my ability to portray the softer and more caring side of life is always very welcome.
Jo was very keen to get some new headshots and photographs to illustrate the business but we agreed that we would try not to just reproduce the same corporate and rather cold commercial staples that line many an office wall of health professionals. I had noticed that many hypnotherapy and counselling services had a propensity to use a lot of blue as though over emphasising the clinical side of their work and so the starting point in preparing the project was to avoid this.
Fortunately the Tanglewood Practice provided another amazing opportunity to create something softer and more sympathetic by having a dual aspect room in which I could exploit the natural light from each window to create several different looks for both Jo and Ann and a couple variations together.
We started by using the window light to frame a couple portraits with the backlit distance helping to provide a space in which prospective clients could feel positive and engage with. Then we moved across to the other side of the room to work with a neutral very muted green wall and the natural side light of the second window with just a little bounced highlights provided by a gold reflector.
The Nikon 185mm telephoto is now a pretty vintage lens but the glass elements inside it help produce a unique complex colour signature and for me helped produce what I felt was the shot of the day which is very easy when you have as striking and engaging a subject as Jo to capture with it.
We then moved on to the two shot environmental images in which I suggested alternating both subjects so that the foreground therapist would be in sharp focus and the other could be defocused and the resulting blurry soft image could stand in for a client gazing toward an unknown but positive future through the bright white window.
The challenge of focusing on eyes through spectacles and avoiding reflections helped remind me to change perspective and the shoot passed very quickly before I had to leave for a pre-wedding planning meeting, confident that we had all managed to change perspectives and achieve what we set out to do.
You can book your family, professional or personal portrait starting from as little as £25 here at Greenbeanz Photography using the contact form here, messaging me on the Greenbeanz Photography Facebook page or emailing me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
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