For me, doing headshot photography is 80% psychologist, and 20% camera + lighting engineer during a session. I feel like I’m just getting to know new friends whilst doing something that is compelling and exciting.
The book Psycho-cybernetics was published in the 60s by a plastic surgeon who documented some principles that have formed the basis of much of the self-help doctrine we see today. As a plastic surgeon, Maltz was uniquely placed to make profound observations on people’s self image.
I think as photographers we are in a similar position to plastic surgeons where we can shape, to some extent, how a person sees themself – and therefore, how they see their position in the world. It’s very powerful stuff when you are conscious of it. Being keenly aware of it will also make a huge impact on bringing about a more positive dynamic to the photo session so that you can be more successful at shaping their images (of themselves, and what the world sees in them) for the better and having a really positive impact on their outlook and reception.
A strong feature of my photo/video shoot is the guidance and direction that I bring to every session, understanding that for most people, this is their first time in front of the camera. I help people organize their thoughts and to RELAX to be their true selves. Every person/business is unique, and I meet people where they are at. In many cases, small business owners are themselves the brand, and the photo/video session is “brand therapy”, resulting in a confident and purposeful message with powerful intent driving it.