You may remember a while back when I did a casting call looking for teenage boys and girls. Well this is the girl I chose. I had quite a specific look in mind, one which included really long hair. I have always had a thing for long hair. The choice also became quite simple when this young lady put herself forward as she is someone I've been photographing through school for several years and she is a past member of the Hinckley Athletics Club where she has been coached by my husband for nearly as many years. He's always had a soft spot for her, being one of his first members which helped my decision. When I have projects where I want to work with a model rather than a paying client I like to use friends or past clients whenever possible as it enables me to give something to those who have been loyal to me.
Wallis has been a pleasure to work with. She is a stunning, confident young woman. In addition, she could bring props with her that I love. I've been wanting to photograph someone with a guitar for ages. I can't express how much I love creating portraits about people using the things they love. And what a memory to capture. Also, giving a person something to hold and focus on means the portraits can easily have a more natural look about them, as these do here.
While we were creating these portraits I thought I'd take the opportunity to photograph Wallis in her prom dress, being that the prom was just days away. Again, this is something so worth while in my eyes. The prom is an exciting time for these young girls, often spending loads of money on the night between hair, makeup, dress and limo. It should be captured by more than just a mobile phone. I myself had portraits done in a studio in my prom dress and I still admire those. I might even scan one in and include it in a blog post at some point, if I can bring myself to show the dress I had designed myself and had made (back in 1989 - sshhh don't tell anyone).
Of the teenagers I've photographed recently, they've all had a really enjoyable and positive experience. I could probably even go so far as to say it was confidence building. This can be a difficult stage for some young adults but to have the experience of all this attention and to have some incredible images at the end of it all can help them to see themselves as others see them, confident and beautiful, rather than awkward and full of self doubt. We are all subjected to seemingly perfect creatures in magazines, film and TV that we can believe we don't measure up. But in reality, very few of those in the public eye come close to the perfection on display.
Now I am not saying that I Photoshop people to change them into someone they are not. Instead I use good lighting, composition, posing and attention to detail to bring out the best in my subject. Yes, I do use Photoshop to clear blemishs, even out skin tones, polish the final image and add some artistic flair. This is all part of my job as a portrait artist. But I bring out the best in my subjects, I don't change them or make them look anything but like themselves. When I hear my clients say 'now that's the image I am going to use as my profile image I know I've done what I set out to do. Teenagers, and young adults, are notoriously picky about how they portray themselves in social media. So if they want to use one of my images than I know I've done my job well.
This time of year is a great time to get portraits such as these done before they head off to college or university. There is still time left and I'm sure they'd love to get them done while they still have their summer tans. I know I feel better with mine (having been home to Canada for a visit I actually have a tan this year).
If you have a young adult you'd like to capture in a similar way please get in touch. I'd love to hear from you. There is never any obligation to book, if you'd just like to meet to discuss some ideas before deciding we can arrange a consultation. My contact details are below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Phone: 01455 611069