Authentic Photography: Collaborating with Subjects to Create Powerful Portraits | Eva Woolridge | Skillshare

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Authentic Photography: Collaborating with Subjects to Create Powerful Portraits

teacher avatar Eva Woolridge, Photographer, Public Speaker, Activist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project Overview


    • 3.

      Client Consultation


    • 4.

      Demonstration Consultation


    • 5.

      Pre-Shoot Preparation


    • 6.

      Demonstration Shoot


    • 7.

      Post Shoot


    • 8.



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About This Class

Join award-winning photographer & activist Eva Woolridge for this informative, empathetic, and critical skill-expanding class on how to successfully photograph self-love portraits. This class provides prompts and techniques to help photographers create a safe space for their clients in order to tell the hidden meanings of their stories through stunning photographs. 

As seen in her viral series Embrace Your Essence, Woolridge has photographed self-love portraits of her clients for over 10 years. “People often ask me how I get my portraits so personal and intimate…” and the answer is valuing the critical art of Listening. This is a crucial skill beyond photography. It’s being in a relationship of give and take with clients. It’s about giving the subject control within the process by being open to their stories, which photographers can then use as material to visually relay in a photo or photo series. 

During this class you will learn:

  • How to build trust with clients
  • Pre-shoot preparation 
  • Techniques during shoot
  • How to balance your artistic creativity with clients requests
  • Methods for sharing images with clients and in your portfolio

From amateurs to professionals, any photographer or artist interested in learning the fundamental skills of connecting to subjects will find value taking this class. There are no specifics in camera or lighting equipment. Students will be encouraged to add their creative flair in post production, and so an understanding of photoshop or your own methods of editing is encouraged. 

So, now you have the idea of what this class is about! Let’s use it as a resource to make connections and do our part in finding all forms of love!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Eva Woolridge

Photographer, Public Speaker, Activist


Hello, I'm Eva and my pronouns are she/her. I am an award winning photographer, public speaker and social activist. You may have seen my work featured in publications like Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue or Harper Bazaar. I hold workshops on photography ethics and project development for Leica Camera USA, on the Diversity Council for Fuiji Film of North America, and a speaker for Tedx and the Schomburg Research Center in Harlem NY. 

Photography is my favorite tool for storytelling. My photo series’ explore the sexual, spiritual, and emotional nature of femininity. In my work I transcend surface-level labels of people of color by conveying strength, perseverance, vulnerability and vitality using strong lighting and composition. We all have something unique and profound t... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: People often ask me how I get my portrait so intimate and personal. My answer is the art of critical listening. My name is Eva Wooldridge, and I am a photographer and social activist, and this is my assistant cava. [LAUGHTER] You may have seen my work in Teen Vogue or Rolling Stone or my award-winning series Size of a Grapefruit. My first series, Embrace Your Essence that I made in 2015 went viral. The whole point of the portraits were to embrace what young women found beautiful about themselves, not influenced by other people. What was important is as a photographer, I was supposed to listen and assist them in cherishing those moments. Fortunately, the series was able to be picked up by Huffington Post, Fisher Magazine, Metro Plus, Cosmopolitan, and a few other publications internationally. Clients and supporters often ask how I'm able to create such relatable portraits without using complex set design or a lot of props. My answer, I listen to my clients, as they share their experiences, I empathize with them, and then use that to amplify in a visual narrative. That answer may be simple, but listening is an essential tool in order to relate and build connection and trust with your client. By listening, you'll take what you learned, apply that information and help them build a visual narrative that they feel related and connected to, that will also be relatable for your audience. You'll learn the importance of building trust, creating a collaborative space, and building on that balance without sacrificing your artistic integrity. At the end of each lesson, I'll be providing you with a reflective writing prompt. Yes, we love self-reflection. These exercises will help you build trust with yourself and then understand how to build trust with your client. Learning the skills to bring empathetic listening into your portrait sessions will help you create beautiful, relatable, and engaging art for your viewers. Now that you've learned what this class is all about, let's dive in. [MUSIC] 2. Class Project Overview: [MUSIC] Welcome to perfecting self-love portraiture class. With me, your host Eva Woolridge. As of my other class, this class is less about technique and more about how to build thought-provoking concepts and apply exercises that will assist you in self-reflection. What you're going to get out of this class is a start to finish process on how I create a self-love portrait with my client. The first lesson is discussing how to build trust with your clients. We want to create a safe space for them to communicate. This is through consultations. Lesson 2 is learning how to apply what you learn in the consultations. Then from start to finish, building the prep for your photoshoot, developing what lights and props you are going to use, and having little foresight on what kind of poses you want your clients to do. Lesson 3 is about post-production. We're going to be discussing how involved you get your clients during the editing process, making sure they feel collaborative still, but ensuring that you're not sacrificing your artistic integrity. At the end of each lesson, you'll be provided a writing prompt. I encourage you to use a laptop or a journal, anything that will give you the space to free write for about 10 minutes. This freewriting allows you to have non-judgmental thoughts and able to see where your mind is going. Throwing all your thoughts on the page and not judging yourself for it, you'll be surprised about what information comes out of that without judging yourself. In addition to the writing tools, this is a list of equipment that I recommend you use. Something to photograph with, such as a DSLR camera, but also an iPhone works too. We just want anything that has good photo quality. A backdrop, or a space for your client to move around and add props. It doesn't necessarily have to be a studio, but we just want to make sure the client can walk around and be able to pose the way you want. Lastly, software for you to edit your photos. Personally, I use Photoshop, but if you have an alternative way of editing, go for it. Using these materials, you're going to go through the process on how to create a self love portrait for your client. I need you to understand that this can be very vulnerable. Some clients, especially if they're [inaudible] you are used to being in front of the camera. They're relying on you to guide them and also make them feel safe. Build trust with them and feel like they can be their most authentic and vulnerable self. By doing so, you'll be able to capture gorgeous images that make them feel seen and relatable and connected. The good news is you'll be able to add your creative flair to it. I don't want you to feel like you only have to listen to your clients. There is artistic freedom within this process. You want to make sure that the client feels involved enough so that they feel like they had some say within this creation. After you're finished editing, you're going to write an artistic statement that goes along with your photographs. This way you're able to create more meaning behind the visual narrative that you created in the self love portraits. This project I care so much about. I've seen the value of a client loving who they are, by how they're seen in a photograph. I've seen how empathizing with their life experiences, applying what you've heard and making a building connection with them, makes them feel seen, identified, noticed. This is a very powerful way that a photographer can help bring love into a client's life. Photography is a visual form of communication. The words of philosopher Paul Tillich, we cannot learn to communicate deeply until we learn to listen to each other, but also to ourselves. Some tips to remember before taking this class. Be patient with yourself and with your client. It takes a lot to build trust with one another. Building trust takes time, so have good intentions and prepare to have your mind wander. Use your imagination to help express a feeling. If you're ready to learn how to connect with your subject and share their stories authentically, see me in the next video. [LAUGHTER] [MUSIC] 3. Client Consultation: When you're working with a subject, you're most likely working with a stranger. It's hard enough to really be open about your vulnerabilities and insecurities with your family or friends let alone a complete stranger you've never met before. You have to have a little bit of patients and create a safe space with your client. Before a shoot is scheduled, I have a one-on-one consultation with my prospective clients. The call typically lasts for about 15-20 minutes. It covers everything from the details of the shoot including the location, price, date, and time, my expectations for the shoot, and it provides a space for the client to share their expectations. Now, as photographers, we need to build trust authentically and quickly in order to create photographs that are relatable and genuine. We do this by providing empathy. This is very different from sympathy. It is important to understand the difference between the two. Sympathy involves understanding from your own perspective while empathy involves putting yourself in another person's shoes and understanding why they may have these particular feelings. Becoming aware of the root cause of why a person feels the way they do, we can better understand and relay that reasoning in a photograph. With that understanding, we're now faced with our second question. How do you create a safe space for a client to feel comfortable enough to share their vulnerabilities and life experiences. You want to let your client know that they have permission to feel the feelings. This is what I expect when I want a safe space to share my life experiences and feelings. What is the credibility of the person I'm speaking with? Do I feel like they're listening to me by relaying back when I'm saying? What is their ability to relate while I'm speaking to them, and having the confidence knowing that personal stories I share are confidential. Overall staying affirm that the person I'm speaking with has my best interests at heart. Once I start my call with my client, I first always thank them for trusting me. By thanking them. It shows that you are sincerely thankful that they're trusting you with making sure they feel seen. I follow up with questions to get to know them a little bit more. Now, I'm not going to give you all my little secret secrets. This is for me. But I do encourage you to look into the who, what, when, where, why, how template. Now a question I always start off asking is, what is a physical attribute that you love about yourself that's not influenced by other people. Typically, I start with my own examples such as, I love my entire backside. I think it's strong and beautiful and flexible, and by photographing that, that's where I feel the most comfortable and showcasing it. By giving your own example, you're helping guide them to be a little bit more comfortable sharing about their own opinions and physical attributes. When they do share a physical attribute, then follow up by asking what experience is associated with that. This can be a memory, something positive, a laughable moment. It also could be an insecurity too. But you want to make sure that you're always giving a positive spin on it. If they are sharing it, insecurity, help them come to terms with why they want to celebrate it now. Now I encourage you to just take notes during this call or even record it, and when doing so, it's important for you to repeat back the information that they share. This just shows that you're listening to them. It's especially important for you to remember the reasoning why they want to share this information because you'll be able to use it and highlight it during your photo shoot. After some trust is built and I've shared some of my vulnerabilities and they share some of theirs, then we can go on to the next step. How do they want the shoot to look based on the information they provided? I typically do this by sharing examples of past work that I've done. This gives them a range of the different aesthetics and they may feel connected to and how creative the shoot can go. Ultimately, it's like your own mood board that you're providing them. In the end, you're going to be preparing your client with the logistical details of your shoot. This includes the price of the shoot, when and where it's going to take place, what they should bring, what they should expect, how they'll receive the deliverables, and what the editing process is going to look like. Once a consultation call is done, the date and time is discussed, as well as pricing. Now you're able to review your notes. There are few methods you can do in order to digest the information after the call, you can review the recording you recorded with the client, you can look back at the notes that you took or you can create a reflection and write down the information that pops back out at you the best. Based off of the information that the client shared, I'll then do a 10 minute free write to let my mind wander a little bit and see what creative thoughts come to mind. This will be able to apply it to the photo shoot and to see how imaginative it can get. A few takeaways for the consultation call. Thank them for their curiosities in the shoot, start with your intentions, your goal is to help them celebrate what they find beautiful about themselves, ask them why they wanted to do a self-love shoot to begin with. Listen, listen, listen. Relate to their story by sharing a small experience of yourself. But remember, this isn't about you. Now it's time for the after lesson free write. I encourage you to write out what you need or expect in order to feel like you're in a safe space. This will help you feel comfortable about sharing your own experiences and ensure that you're creating a genuine connection with your client. [MUSIC] 4. Demonstration Consultation: [MUSIC] Tell me a little bit about why you wanted to have in embrace your essence shoot. You already know this, but I'm getting tough surgery next week [LAUGHTER] on Tuesday, five days. I'm really excited about that, but obviously, it's going to be big changes to my body. I just want to capture this time of my identity and my body because I do actually love the way I look now. I'm going to enhance that feeling. But I would say, 98% of the time I have no use for my ****. But 2% of the time, I really love them. I like that I can be both feminine and masculine. I guess I'd maybe want to capture a little femininity before I just slice them right off. I want to thank you so much for trusting me in this journey and to know that you are in a very safe place to express yourself and highlight these different body parts of yours. The whole goal about embrace your essence is to embrace what you find beautiful about yourself. Even if in the past you may have struggled with identity or may have struggled with different parts of your body, it is not a circumstance where you can't later on in your life come into a full circle moment and finally celebrate it or embrace the things that make you special or how you define yourself as special. I always like to also make clear that this is not what you consider beautiful about yourself. Is not through the influence of other people. I want to ensure that you've come into this experience knowing that clearly you've reflected on it and knowing that however you define as beautiful is absolutely correct. I'm very excited to help you on this journey to celebrate this next chapter in your life. I'm very nervous. [LAUGHTER] Well, being nervous is completely fine. I know that. Personally, I struggled a lot with my body image. Not in the same way of identity, but in a way of not finding myself desirable enough. There are elements honestly skin tone growing up trying to navigate the world in very whitespaces and coming full circle and understanding what beauty standards look like to me and how I define it and not how the world currently defines it. I hope you know that I feel connected in some capacity of what you're experiencing. Have you ever done a photo shoot before? No. Great. What is your experience with photo shoots? Where have you seen or witnessed? Well, I've seen photo shoots on TV. That's the only experience I have knowing what a photoshoot is. I watched a lot of America's Next Top Model growing up. Same. That's where I'm getting all of my knowledge from. Don't worry. Expect a lot of smizing. Yes. That's the plan. I've been in two very informal photo shoots before and I just tense up a lot and I feel very awkward. I really want to avoid that not because feeling awkward is bad, but just because I really want to be able to tap into that pure soft femininity and that pure strong masculinity and I think I have trouble. That's very vulnerable for me. I think a lot of us get America's Next Top Models' influence for good and for bad. [LAUGHTER] I want you to completely remove that idea of what a photo shoot is because what this experience is going to be is a one-on-one moment between us where you can feel safe to vocalize what feels comfortable, what doesn't feel comfortable. There's no wrong answer when we're photographing together. I do want to get more insight on what your definition of femininity looks like and how you want it to be represented. I guess, maybe the silhouette. The outline of the body, maybe what you're saying, the curves, that kind of thing. I don't think this is helpful maybe for you, but I know for me my personal definition of femininity, is just an energy that I feel, where I can feel in my body when I feel more masculine. But then there's just sometimes where I feel very feminine and soft. I've always described it to my friends. This is silly, but I can feel it growing through my eyes. Yes. Different parts of my body feel different masculine and feminine energy. My hands and my arms, I feel very masculine and very sexy with that. But then my neck and up through my eyes I can feel very feminine. Thank you. This is so helpful. This is helping me figure out how to best pose you. I do see a lot of shadow work. Face lighting, mood lighting. I do want to play with some black and white as well. I think. I would like that. Yeah. You would love black and white? Yes, I would. I think something that trips me up when I see photos of myself sometimes is I've got a lot of insecurity around my skin. I have a lot of acne and just different colorations. I actually would like to do black and white. Beautiful. Not all of it particularly, but just some of it. Yeah. Well, we can do a combination of both, but there's something that for some reason in my mind connects really well with mask and femme energy, is it so simple with black and white? It's not influenced by a lot of other textures or things like that. It's pretty easy to showcase softness and femininity and then using strong lighting, contrasts, shadows. That is very easy to play with more masculine directness. Tau, what's your comfortability with nudity and toplessness? Are you comfortable with that? I'm totally comfortable. Yeah, I'm very comfortable. In fact, I was hoping probably that we would do some top nudity, but also maybe some top where I'm just wearing a binder. I've been doing that for long time, but I don't know if that will really [OVERLAPPING]. I love that. Can we actually do that? Yes. What surprises a lot of people, the shoot is not exactly how we plan in the consultation call and there's some freedom to that. Let's see what that looks like. I don't want to take away embracing the femininity part. If you're not wearing a binder in the beginning of the shoot, that's fine. If the texture thing doesn't work, that's okay, it doesn't have to work. But I would love just in general capture that transition. Then we'll focus on at the end, redefining what masculinity looks like to you in a visual way and we can work through that together as well. But I, again, see a lot harder poses focusing on your arms, your muscular structure. I feel like this statuesque posing where you look very tall and it taking a lot of space. Do you have any further questions about how or any concerns of how you want to be presented? No, I don't think so. I feel pretty good. I don't ever do makeup or anything like that. Or should I bring hair stuff? I just don't know those details. When you dress more feminine, do you wear makeup at all? Every once in a while, my partner will do my makeup, but no, I don't usually. Then let's not have makeup. Let's embrace what feminine Danny is when they want presented in that way. We don't have to do anything additional just for a shoot itself. You can definitely do your hair. But don't worry in terms of post-production stuff. You also mentioned skin texture and stuff like that. I do, do general retouching, so any blemishes that are not more permanent blemishes like moles and stuff like that, I can definitely remove. But it's not going to be anything that is completely air-brushing your face or anything like that. My whole method is, again, temporary to who you are as a person and who you want to be. [MUSIC] 5. Pre-Shoot Preparation: [MUSIC] Welcome to our second lesson. Today we're going to be talking about pre-production and the day of the shoot. Now, the client is expecting that based off of our consultation call, you are going to be prioritizing them as a subject based off the information they gave you. I like to prep about no later than a week before the photoshoot. When brainstorming ideas, it's necessary for you to reflect back on the consultation call. What was said? What were they reflecting on? What life stories and experiences do they provide for you? This way, based off of your brainstorm that you did for the free rate, you're able to build connections creatively and have your imagination wander a bit. Here's an example. I didn't embrace your essence shoot with a fitness instructor. He informed me that the reason why he got into doing fitness is because growing up, he struggled with his weight. He didn't feel this most confident himself and he was trying to figure out what will give him the most confidence and feel connected to his body. He started with opening about his profession, but in order for a selfless shoot to be deeper, he had to open up a little bit. I encouraged him asking more questions on why he wanted to be a fitness instructor. He shared with me little life experiences and memories that connected with his weight. In order to feel more confident, he knew that he wanted to get into a business that will prioritize his physical health. [MUSIC] Based off of the information I gathered, the next step is making sure that you have props, lighting, and poses set up. Regarding props, less is always more. The focus of your shoot is your subject, not these props and accessories that are around them. I would always suggest providing maybe one or two props within a photo shoot. These props are only used to enhance the attributes of your subject not to be the focal point. Does it represent their physical attribute that they want to focus on? Does it represent their story, their memories? Is it relating to their profession or the community that they represent? What is its value? Does it connect with their hobby? What makes and embrace your essence self-love portrait unique is that it's not just focusing on the physical attributes of a subject, but instead capturing what's within their spirit, their connections of community, their memories, and associating that with the physical attributes in front of you. Self-love is mostly about who we are, not about what we look like. In the fitness instructor example, by listening to him, I knew I wanted to work with weights to show us profession and also emphasize his muscle for definition. I knew that I would be highlighting his muscles and anatomy for the shoot so I added a little bit of movie magic, aka coconut oil. This adds some shine and some definition. Remember, props aren't necessarily always involved or in front of the camera. Poses really depend on your creative aesthetic and the ability and limits of your subject. Remember, most likely your subject is not a professional model and so they can't always do the extreme poses that you may see in editorial or magazine. We don't want to enforce any physical intensiveness to their body so make sure you're always communicating with them of what they feel comfortable with during the shoot. The poses I guide them on really focuses on their anatomy, their height, their jawlines. Respecting someone's identity, we want to ensure that the poses are authentic to them. If you are photographing someone who's non-binary, for example, you want to ensure that their femininity and masculinity are fluid. There are different poses that help give that respect. By asking how they best want to be represented, really determine what poses you're going to use. For example, if you're trying to show a softness of their subjects' bodies, then focusing on the texture and the curvaceousness of their hips or highlighting a silhouette is a great way to show those different angles. Now, if you're trying to show power and strength, I find that going lower and really emphasizing different angles from a lower vantage point helps emphasize a strong jawline, height, strength, power. These are all attributes that can make someone seem a lot stronger than they are and that can be a positive reflection of how they identify. Is your subject an athlete or a dancer? If so, ask them what poses they'd normally do when practicing their discipline. This is a good place to start, but not solely rely on that, it's just to help them get more comfortable and then allow your imagination to consider other poses. Now we're going to talk about lighting. Lighting is a great way to add a lot of drama and really affect the mood of the shoot. To do this, I often work with studio lights and gel filters. Adding color aligns with the significance of color theory, which can really make an impact on what mood you're trying to represent. While using strobe or natural light really affect the drama or the softness of a shoot. For drama, we can use colors like red, blues, and greens to really make it moody. For natural light, moods are often associated with warmth, positive, whimsical vary in the present-looking photography. Studio lighting is a controlled setting where you can easily create a set or invoke a mood. There's an opportunity for a lot more drama and contrast. Back to the fitness instructor example, I wanted to show lighting, poses, and colors that will really assist him in his attributes as a physical fitness instructor. My theory was to invoke a lot of power and strength. I wanted to use poses that added to his muscular structure, I wanted to use props like a weight to really emphasize the power that he can hold, and then I wanted to use warm colors and playing with moodiness to really give us elusive fantasy aspects. Remember, he said that he struggled a little bit with body image when he was growing up so I wanted to make sure that I was playing with shadow that will gently tell that story without overpowering the overall narrative. Sometimes a shoot doesn't work out exactly how we planned so it's important to make sure that you're listening to your intuition, following your gut, and make decisions on the top of your head that doesn't affect the integrity of the shoot or make sure the client isn't aware of the decisions that you're making. When I was photographing another client, I noticed that their energy was really low. They weren't really giving me the poses I planned for and I wanted to make sure they still felt seen. Their personality generally is very whimsical. I need to figure out on the top of my head how to make them feel more comfortable in the moment to bring their energy up. After shooting for about 10 minutes, I was running low on ideas and poses that kept them interested and engaged so I thought about it for a second and made them take a five-minute break and recall that in the studio I was photographing in, they had a whole bunch of mirrors that I can use and play with. I decided to apply the mirrors to make a very whimsical Alice in Wonderland vibe. This allowed the client to feel a little bit more interesting, charged up, and energize and I was able to be challenged myself and engage in many different poses and formations that experimented with reflection. I say all of that in order to remind you too, if there's a hiccup during the shoot, stay calm. You'll figure it out and they trust you as an artist. Trust yourself as an artist and allow your imagination to wander. Always ask yourself, how can we make the story a little bit more interesting? Recall back to your consultation call. What were they sharing? What memories were they giving? Did they want a moodier shoot or a more vivid bright shoot? Do you want to play with black and white or really use gel filters? These are all different questions we can ask ourselves in order to play with in the middle of a shoot. That's where the best ideas come out. For this freeway, I want you to think about what your intentions are with the client, what are you trying to achieve, and how you can do that? Let's brainstorm together on the different concepts of props, lighting, and poses you can do in order to make this a slam dunk, self-love photoshop. [MUSIC] 6. Demonstration Shoot: [MUSIC] What happens today is that we're going to have a photoshoot with a client of ours. Their name is Danny and they're amazing. In the shoot, we are going to discuss and show examples of the client introduction, prop and lighting setup with explanations, the client conversation, and coverage of the shoot. [MUSIC] Throughout the shoot, I'm going to show you these different images so you can vocalize what feels or looks better to you. This is a very collaborative effort, I don't want you to feel like it's only you that's expressing yourself, I want you to know that I'm going to care in the best of my ability. For you to feel comfortable to vocalize if there is one direction you'd rather go towards versus another. This is, like I said, a collaborative effort. Let's do this. The point of embrace your essence is for a client to embraced what they find beautiful about themselves, without the influence of other people. Danny expressed during our consultation that they didn't know how to best articulate the emotions that they were feeling on how they want to be represented. As a photographer, it's my job to make sure that based off of what they're saying, I am using my skill set to best visually articulate the feelings that they're having. [MUSIC] What we did was set up the studio for Danny's shoot. I wanted to use to strobe lights in the studio in order to give me a range of different moods that I'm trying to represent. In our consultation call, Danny and I discussed wanting to represent more of the feminine energy. In my mind, I saw that as using more natural light and soft consistently with studio lighting system. To represent more of their masculine energy, we are going to use the strobe lights, which gives a little bit more harshness and a little bit more drama. The setup here today we're using a black backdrop and we're going to use this stool here to have Danny seated, but also be able to move around and provide different poses for them to feel best represented. In other embrace your essence portraits, I do use a range of colors, but this is really based off of the consultation call that I have with the client. Some clients like to feel yellow really brings out the warmth in their skin tone, or red to add a lot more passion or drama to them. In our consultation call, Danny expressed that they were a little self-conscious regarding the sunburns that they may have or any discoloration due to acne. I decided to use black and white so they don't feel like that is going to emphasize any color distortion. If you are going to use color, there are a few elements to remember to make sure you are best representing your client. Things to look out for are what color would work best with their skin tone? What parts of their body are they highlighting? If it's their eyes, are you going to use a colored backdrop that is going to have their eyes pop? What is their favorite color? I always like to ask this question because it's where they feel most comfortable or represented. What kind of mood are they trying to express? There's an entire color theory that determines how to best represent a mood or an emotion. We also want to consider that when using a backdrop or gel filters, playing with a combination of different colors. But today we're just going to focus on black and white. [MUSIC] If something is inspiring you emotionally in the moment, lean in to it. I saw the tender heart tattoo, and I wanted to make sure that best captures the identity that they're trying to represent in this moment. [MUSIC] Today's shoot, I personally think it went really well. A challenge that I experienced is that we only had about two hours in order to complete the photoshoot and the Skillshare recording. What I had to do is to really prioritize the subject in the last 45 minutes. This way, they didn't feel rushed, but I wanted them to feel seen and to know that we had to wrap it up. During the shoot, I wanted to really emphasize the key points that they presented during your consultation call. I wanted to focus on providing a combination of the feminine and masculine energy that they were trying to best represent and make sure that there was a balance of showing softness and power within the same photoshoot. I encourage you to write what came to mind intuitively when you were participating in your own photoshoot. Was there any hiccups that caused you to take a moment, take a break, and reflect what other decisions that you can provide for the client? What did it feel like trusting your gut? This will help you keep concepts in mind for future shoots so you know you can always listen to your intuition whenever you need to solve a problem. [MUSIC] 7. Post Shoot: [MUSIC] Welcome to my video on post-production processing. This is where we talk about the image review process, the creative processing, and deliverables. Just because the shoot is over, it doesn't mean the collaboration is. In my experience in portrait photography, I've learned that just because there's an image you may be totally obsessed with, it doesn't mean that the client's going to love it. If the client who's paying us doesn't love the photo that you personally selected. We have to make sure that they feel prioritize and seen. You're looking at the photo with all of the complexity lighting, posing, shadows. You may be very exciting connected with the image that you selected. But what they're seeing is just themselves and how they relate to the image. But your client is looking at the photo you provided and see if it relates to their self-love of themselves. We must trust their instincts too. Ultimately your client knows their stories best. After a shoot, I typically review all the raw images provided and make sure that they're ones that I'm pretty proud of. For that, I upload them to a site called Pixieset, which gives the client access to favor their top selected images. Now in my packages, I offer about 10 images, so my client will pick their top 10 images. If they want more, they're more than welcome to pay for more. However, in the package I provide 10 images for them to select. They're also able to comment on any specific details they want edited or adjusted. The great thing about Pixieset is that they don't provide the client the option to download the wrong images. As I mentioned in my earlier videos, it's like asking a painter to provide the client with the sketches for them to keep. That's not really a comfortable thing to provide, and so I often let them know that unfortunately, I don't provide the raw images. By allowing our clients to select the photos that they feel most comfortable with. This gives us freedom as artists to be as creative as we want to be. [MUSIC] Editing, this is my favorite part. This is truly where you are one with the photo. This is when you add your creative signature to each image that you're editing. I do a general retouch. I never want to remove any permanent scarring or moles because then that would be countered the self-love ideology. You can be the artist they hired you to be and enhance who they are without taking away the permanent parts of their body. I do remove any blemishes that are temporary like pimples or sun discoloration. After I have a ball with playing with color correction, burn effects, and whatever else I'm feeling guided to do. I personally use Adobe Photoshop, but again, there are a whole bunch of free editing softwares that you can use online. When I'm editing, I like to really have fun with it. Remember, you want to make the connection between the memories and experiences that they shared. By doing so in Photoshop, you're able to play with color, lighting, shadow, contrast. You can even layer different images on top of each other to really enhance an image. It's really up to you. Just have fun with it and trust your process. Once editing is done, I tend to send the images through WeTransfer or Dropbox. Finally, to make this a slightly more personal experience and that the clients getting their money's worth. I often like to give them an 8.5 by 11 hard-copy print for them to keep and hang up in their home. Don't forget to sign. Remember, you're the artist and you deserve to have your signature on the image. You can always use Walgreens or CVS as they have very affordable printing services. [MUSIC] You do have the right to use and share the images that you photograph. But I do want to remind you that your subjects did trust you with their experiences and vulnerabilities. I recommend being selective on which photos you use to show on your website, Instagram, and other social media platforms. I usually write an artist statement that goes along with the photos I'm sharing and I'll credit the subject. Their description can range between a sentence or two and just provides a highlight of what the series was about. A note on nude photography. If my client wants to explore nude photoshoot, that's completely fine, but we want to make sure if you're sharing any images that you're respecting their boundaries. Definitely ask permission before you put them on your website or portfolio that's online. I want you to reflect on a memory and share what you felt like following your gut when you had a pivot and make a different decision. What did you learn from that scenario? What worked and what would you have done differently? This reflection will remind you what it feels like following your gut and having to make a decision on the spot. This way in the future, when you have to make another decision, you feel more comfortable trusting your instincts and that you can pivot on the spot. Congratulations, you just finished your first self-love portrait class. Let's go over some of the key points in the next video and then you're free to create. [MUSIC] 8. Conclusion: [MUSIC] Congratulations, you made it. You survived. You did it. We're all in the conclusion video. I survived. Sorry. Congratulations. You made it. We're at the end of the self-love portrait photo shoot. First lesson, how to build trust with your client and create a one consultation to create a safe space with your client. In Lesson 2, you learnt my methods of preshoot preparation, and the techniques to apply during a shoot, which include using angles and lighting to build drama, working with what you're given, and how to add context to an image. Then we went through a demonstration shoot where I worked with our client Danny, and really connect on a step by step basis on how a client can feel comfortable in real-time. In Lesson 3, we discussed what to do postshoot, how involved we keep a client in the editing process, while honoring our artistic integrity. Remember if you're going to activate a self-love portrait, you want to make sure that you recognize the different methods and tools for you to really connect with the client, and that means loving yourself. We all have parts that we don't love about ourselves and that we're insecure about. But we want to make sure that to build trust and connection, we acknowledge the things we want to work on and remind ourselves that we're human too. Your job is to make sure that you help the client celebrate what we do love about ourselves. Be comfortable with sharing your vulnerabilities, your insecurities, and some memories, if you expect them to do the same. They hired you to be the artist that you are, so make sure that you trust the decisions that you're making. In order to create connection between you and the client, for them to feel a connection between the camera, to overall have a connection with the photograph and the viewer, you need to listen. By listening you'll walk away with a unique story that says so much more in an image than it would with a written word. I can't wait to see any photos that you create or self-reflective writing prompts that you can share in the Skillshare gallery. If you want to see any more tips and tricks on how to conduct photography or see my personal work, you can follow me @ewphotos1 on Instagram and on my website, to sign up for my newsletter. See you next time. [MUSIC]