This expressive little girl came in as part of our “Be in our front window” promotion. We wanted to do something different, so I borrowed a lab coat and a stethoscope from wife and we had the girl bring her teddy bear. The concept for this child’s portrait was a “teddy bear check-up”. She played along very well and we created some great looks.
The child’s grandmother Phyllis would commission this portrait. Phyllis had a preconceived idea what she wanted her grand-daughter’s portrait to look like. Preconceived ideas are both good and bad – often more the latter than the former. I can look at an example, and tell you how it was lit, what lens it was taken with and even be reasonably close with estimating the camera settings. We can go to the exact same spot at the same time of day; but at that point I no longer have control. I can’t control expression. I can guide the pose, but really it comes down to the subject to pull execute it properly. This used to happen frequently when I was photographing weddings. The bride-to-be would show me an image cut from a bridal magazine of bride and a groom frolicking in the waves on a Caribbean beach at sunset and ask for the same image when their wedding was in cow pasture in the dead of winter.
The point is, it’s okay to have a preconceived idea – if you are willing to let go of it when something better is shown to you. As a professional with over 25 years of experience, I know what will make you look the best.
Phyllis ended up liking one of my ideas better than what she had originally envisioned.