Well, the other day, I stepped in a hole and really hurt my knee. It was fine in a week or so, but for that week, I was constantly reminded how much we take the ability to get up and down for granted.
I had never really considered how much I move around while doing a portrait session. Years ago, I remember a speaker at some photography workshop saying, “Never just TELL your subject to ‘sit like this’, or ‘stand like that’… SHOW THEM.”
The idea is that it’s just much easier for someone to understand by showing them than by trying to give a bunch of complicated directions. The other, more important point, is that if I can’t get myself into the pose I want you to do because it’s too awkward or (worse) embarrassing, then how can I expect YOU to do it?
I have always remembered that bit of advice even though I've long since forgotten who gave it. (Sorry, portrait mentor, whoever you were.) When creating your portrait, we try very hard to make sure it is fun and comfortable for you. For one thing, I want you to have fun and be comfortable… (because who wants to have a bad time and be uncomfortable?) But it’s also important for you to have fun because it will show in the picture! If you are standing or sitting in a stiff awkward pose, the portrait will not be a good one.
When your friends see portraits of you and your children and family displayed on the walls of your home, my greatest goal is for them to say, “You all look so HAPPY -- you look like you are really are enjoying each other!”
THAT is a successful portrait.