Portrait Workflow Deconstructed

Nargiza from Uzbekistan is my client today. I haven’t seen her before or have any idea how she looks like.

Before proceeding with ANY shoot remember to GET TO KNOW YOUR Subject/CLIENT! Establish a rapport. In this case, we had a chat for about 15-20 minutes, introduced myself and educated her on what will happen in the next 1.5 hours. 

I believe that the first 10-15 photos will be crappy because this is considered the adjustment period where the subject adjusts on how to be comfortable with you as a photographer. As a photographer, it is our goal to bring out the best in every subject. I aim for my photos to be natural as possible. This is not a HIGH fashion shoot where awkward poses is a good thing. In portraits, it’s a NO NO. 


You’ll know when the mood of the client is all pumped up when she starts to have fun. She unwinds, let’s down her guard and becomes the person you want to photograph. IT is our goal as a portrait photographer, to portray the person as what she really is not what she wants people to see. Sometimes it’s hard to tap into that realness in every subject but this is what distinguishes us as professionals from those that are more interested with what F/stop, gear or which light has been used for a shot. The question that we should be asking is more of WHY the photo was taken rather than WHAT settings have been used.



It is important to give our clients variety of photos. It’s a dumb move to give your client 10 images of the same pose. 


It’s nice to educate clients on how beautiful images are in Black and White. It’s timeless, classic and elegant.  

I give my clients the chance to choose the image they want. She chose this last image.


 There are lots of ways to shoot portraits. It depends on your style, workflow and what is fun for you as a photographer. 


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