A few things to know before having your picture taken

Here is candid moment portrait of my friend Kyle, actually taken the first time we ever met. In Beijing the second hand market is basically non existing, because the Chinese in general now wants everything new. Which is completely understandable due to their history. Fashion and shopping is not a new concept to us as it for them, so ofc there is a craze now. Buying someone elses old things is simply not desirable at all, especially since new stuff is so cheap anyway. And it seems people are looking for pretty things, not high quality things. In the west we are more and more growing tired of buying things that we need to replace, but we have been doing it for so long already – here they haven’t quite reached that point yet. So foreigners are arranging SWAP MEETS, and that’s how I met this guy. Melissa of Juice by Melissa hosted one, with cocktails, and this guy was sitting outside with his best buddy Damo drinking. Of all the people there, I felt the two of them were where the party was at. And I was right. Sat down with a drink, and then the three of us left pretty soon together and hung out all day and most of the evening too.

Kyle is very photo genic, not because of how handsome he is, but because of his emotions. Kyle is not to deceive anyone, ever to pretend. It is like self consciousness does not exist within him. In all pictures I have taken of him, his open mind and open heart comes through. He never asks him self what face he should make, or how he should keep his shoulders when I am taking a picture of him, he is just engaging with me. This is what I urge people to do. Breath. Just be. Keep yourself, or make yourself comfortable – and the chill vibe you’re trying to force will come naturally. Allow it to be quite between pictures. Allow the pictures to happen and don’t get intimidated by the the big clunky piece of gear called a camera. Stay within yourself. Close your eyes for two whole minutes and just count second for every in and exhale. Do whatever you need to do, to bring yourself back in as soon as consciousness or silly worry has taken you over. In all pictures you, the successful ones, you need to feel like yourself. There are moments in life, where you are your absolute most truest self. What is that moment for you?

I like keeping my body busy with very manual labor, while focusing my head on something creative so mine is when I am singing while doing house hold chores or painting. That is the absolute best place for me to be at, which is why I enjoy having the house to myself pretty often.

Think about what is yours, and see if it is possible to recreate that for real, or as an idea, for your shoot. Atleast I am the kind of photographer who would do everything I can to recreate that environment for you. If your photographer isnt willing to work with you like that, you can do it in your own head by taking yourself there. Visualize.

Other than that, I have found some people on youtube helping prepare people more systematically for a photoshoot. So, these might help too.