Baby and Father close up in bed

I hate having my photograph taken!!

I hate having my photograph taken

I have never come across anyone who hates having their photograph taken more than me.  To some people that may sound incredible coming from a photographer but it’s true.  I still have an old paper driving licence because I can’t bring myself to have a photo taken for a new one.  Believe it or not being this way is a big help with my style of portraiture.  I never want to take a photograph of someone whose eyes are pleading with me to hurry up and take the shot.  I take what I refer to as ‘five minute photographs’.  It’s not that it takes five minutes to take them but rather as if I have set up a shot, walked away and come back unexpectedly after five minutes when the person has relaxed and almost forgotten about having their picture taken.  I want you to look as if you are not about to be photographed.  In all the years I have been a photographer I have never asked anyone to smile or say “cheese”.  I love non-smiling shots where the person looks at ease rather than wearing a frozen inane grin.  You don’t smile with your mouth but with your eyes.  The eyes are the most revealing part of the face and you can easily see if a person is relaxed or tense. One of the most important aspects of being a portrait photographer is relating to the person being photographed.  Anyone can take a portrait.  It’s how you make the sitter feel that counts.  I don’t want to take a picture of what you look like I want to take a picture of who you are.

Here are some of my portraits that I feel are relaxed and natural.

Young boy leaning on wall

One of my all time favourite portraits. He looks completely relaxed and at ease

Woman smiling

A real smile! Cover up her mouth and you can tell by her eyes how much she is smiling.

Slater Heelis staff PR 7

A half smile can look fantastic too

Slater Heelis staff PR 1

A corporate portrait of a solicitor doesn’t have to be stiff and forced

close up of girl leaning on man's cheek

A strong male portrait and you can tell how much she loves him even though she’s not facing the camera and her eyes are closed

Father and baby having a laugh

This is all about capturing the relationship between the father and the child. It doesn’t matter that his eyes are closed.

I hate having my photograph taken!!Ray Kearney

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