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.