That’s how most people describe their foray in being in front of a camera. I believe that three quarters or more of my job is to get people to open up their real personality… And the only way to do that is to coach people through the experience and have them feel good.

I can do that. I know, because when I was working on a nude art calendar to raise money for the Sedona Arts Center people were SO comfortable that halfway through many sessions I would have to remind them to cover up while we were reviewing images.

Alberto Salas wanted a quick solid business portrait for use by the marketing team for Wells Fargo. He came with very specific instructions on the file format and cropping. But within that I think I caught the sparkle in his eye and by taking a slightly higher camera angle made him look friendly and approachable. The person in the photograph is looking up at the viewer making the viewer be above in a more powerful position. Think about camera angles when trying to sell what your subject wants to say. If you want to portray more powerful, strong personality take a lower angle so the person in the photo is looking slightly down at the viewer. Remember it doesn’t take much…

Alberto walked in the door, I set up the lighting, got him comfortable with conversation, created his portrait, retouched the image and burned the files to disk. And, he was done in about one half hour.

executive portrait photoI choose a modified split lighting pattern. Note the shadow side of Alberto’s face. Shadow creates form and depth and what is usually missing from a non-professional executive portrait.

portrait of executiveI highly recommend that you do the black and white conversion so someone is not tempted to push the grey-scale button that causes the loss of contrast in the image.