There’s a different sort of atmosphere when you can just sit with your portrait subject.
No chasing, no bribery involved (most of the time). Just a sense of quiet, apart from the chatting, dispelling the worry, dealing with the nerves, relaxing. It’s all about deep breaths, in and out (must remember both of these stages in order to remain upright), and letting the muscles relax, settle, allowing the character to come to the surface.
Finding the true character of someone’s face is especially important when creating headshots for an actor. I like to take my time, to get to know the person I’m photographing, to allow them to open up. They are always a portrait session for me, that unfold over time, that take place over a few locations, that use what I find on the day – whether that’s the incredible window light that pours onto the stairs inside, the atmospheric touch of mist that settles in an underpass, the bruised pink sky of a sunset.
And if my subject has an incredible mane of jet black curls, well, you won’t hear me argue with that either.