One of the best gift a subject can bestow upon a portrait photographer is that of unrestricted expressions. Most people tend to avoid doing this because when confronted with a lens, they turn into who they think they are supposed to be or who the photographer thinks they ought to be.
Ever hear “you’ve captured this person’s essence so well”? That probably means they recognize that person and can’t tell the difference between the photograph and the real person. But then again, photography is a lie. Even more so portraiture. The said soul-capturing photograph is only a fractional representation of the subject. It is not possible to cover all the complexities, nuances, thoughts, and feelings of a human being through a single photograph. This is why I find portraiture is so interesting, challenging, and compelling, Especially when it is well executed. Jamie Windsor discusses this in a well put together video about How portraits lie.
I enjoyed my portrait sessions with Rachel because she allowed herself to be expressive. I happened to have asked her to let me photograph her and she just drove over without hesitation. At first, she struck me as this young Latina from Miami with lots of cool energy. But when she got in front of my Hasselblad, she just let out this funny, quirky and sarcastic character, again without any hesitation. Turns out, she is an actress, but she was not acting. How lovely was that?!
Enjoy : )