Shooting someone for the first time feels just like the first day of school. As a kid, I would dread the impending ring of my alarm clock as I stared at it with sleepless eyes in the darkness of my bedroom. It’s a mixture of nervous anticipation and excitement, about 9 parts of the former and 1 part of the latter. However, after having tucked a couple of portrait sessions under my belt, I’ve come up with a plan to keep the racking of nerves down to a minimum —
Let your subject do something she loves to do.
It’s not rocket science, but it works for me. Joanne boxes for fitness, so doing a shoot centered around the theme of shadow boxing seemed like a great fit. She fell into a grove doing something familiar and we both made very natural-looking portraits in the process. And just like the first day of school, you laugh away your doubts and enjoy the rest of the day with both old and newfound friends.