I tell people always not to worry about their skin or their hair. The focal point in any portrait is your eyes. There’s not much you can do to affect them, but you can hold the truth in your heart, the truth about who you are. Your eyes cannot hide you. They can’t be Photoshopped. They can’t be faked. So just look at me and breathe, I say. Show me who you are. This is not really a conscious choice but you can set intent. And intent shines through.
I can provide you with a focal point. All you need to do is relate to me. Just be present and talk to me. Or I can talk to you. Whatever works for you. A portrait is a conversation, or part of one. It’s one side of a conversation, and you can glean the energy and the veracity of that conversation by looking at the results. You can’t be authentic for me if I’m not authentic for you.
So the onus is on me to create space for that. My intent must be open and focused on you. And I have to be real. I can’t fake it either. If your portrait fails I take the blame. I’ve had people disappointed in the results but I don’t think I’ve ever had a true failure. I think every portrait I have done has been true to the person being photographed. Sometimes they don’t see it, but I think it’s because they don’t want to.
So really don’t worry so much about how you look. Focus instead on how you feel. Decide to be real. Let go. What you hold in your heart is what comes through your eyes,