This is my friend Jayne. She recently asked me to do some pictures for her new website. Jayne is a practitioner of Empathic Coaching and wanted a picture that would strike the right balance of empathic and professional to help with marketing her business. Unfortunately I was only able to meet her to do the pictures in the evening, and as any fellow Scots know, January evenings are dark! This meant wrestling again with whatever indoor lighting Jayne had in her house and augmenting it with my flashgun. Using the flash through a diffuser and keeping it fairly close to Jayne allowed the flash light with its neutral colour to dominate the light. The background domestic lighting has only added a little warmer balance to the scene, and thankfully no awful greenish fluorescent tones.

This first picture is a guilty pleasure for me. I was only taking a setup shot to check the light, and so Jayne wasn’t really expecting this to be used. I just can’t help liking it though. There is something very intense and compelling about it. A monochrome treatment and a virtual masking on the right of the picture has produced a very classic look, reminding me of old polaroid peel-apart portraits or test shots. I just love it.


In terms of what we were trying to achieve, Jayne was just great to work with. She is naturally someone who connects easily with you in conversation, and once the unease of a large umbrella being stuck close to her diminished, she just continued working with me as though we were having a great conversation. The result is that the viewer of her portraits will surely feel that same connection to her. This one is almost perfect for the brief.


This one is lightened a little by Jayne’s smile.


I love the blend of smile and connection in this one.


Slightly more seriousness again in this one. The colour signals warmth again however.


After the shoot, Jayne and I ended up discussing the amazing difference that small facial expression changes made to how a picture makes the viewer feel. Hopefully Jayne will have no difficulty matching a few of these pictures to the web pages that she wants them for. I learned a lot about working with a subject to transmit something through the image that is fairly subtle, but hugely important for the job. Once again, the ease of sharing the images as we went along with a digital camera made it easy for Jayne and I to discuss the subtle changes and to continue to make adjustments as we went along.

Good learning for me, and great fun spending time photographing Jayne. Oh and thanks for the soup and homemade bread. Delicous!


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