Attitude. Is. Everything.

I can set the table and serve dinner, but you need to bring your own special sauce. It’s that simple. I’ve selected this set of images – just five of about twenty from this recent Salon Session celebrating a special birthday – to illustrate the point.

The entire session was shot on a simple black background (with one exception) and with the same lighting. We shot only two simple wardrobes, an off-the-shoulder “boyfriend” shirt and a black tutleneck, only waist-up compositions, and only achromatic images. Yet despite this lack of variety this is one of my favorite shoots of all time. (I also mixed some medium format TRI-X with the medium format digital but that is beside the point here. Can you tell which is which?)

So what makes these images so amazing? The variety of my cleint’s expressions, attitudes, moods, looks – pick your word.


What do I mean by “set the table?” It means pick the vignette and lighting and set the mood. If you’re not comfortable won’t be able to express yourself freely.(This is the same for you as it is for a professional model, by the way, which at first may seem surprising. You are both human beings.)

Likewise, “serve dinner” means get the shot. If you look amazing and I miss the shot, well, I missed the shot. Moments are fleeting. Fortunately I have both the judgment (timing, composition, light) and the tools (here, for once, cameras do matter!) to capture them.


But what I cannot do – ever – is capture your various energies unless you show them to me. Every one of my clients has a unique personality; every one is interesting and complex in his or her own way. Every one has not just one unique attitude but many. I know how to facilitate this. The question is whether you in the end are willing to show that to me. Without your “special sauce” our dinner will be kinda bland.

Let’s get on a call soon and discuss your portrait session. I will be honored to tell the world about your “special sauce.”

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