The thing that makes my heart sing and beat faster are portraits that I connect with; pictures that make me want to look beyond a second and then some more; photographs that have an emotional resonance and that have soul and tell you something about the individual, and sometimes encourage you to question and ask why?

It is a compulsion of mine to go beyond the surface, to scratch the veneer, and see what is underneath. I am curious, I love people, and I see beauty every where, particularly in unexpected places.

Beauty to me, isn’t made up or artificial it is something that is contained within our complicated souls, especially our complicated ones, even though with simplicity it is easy to see.

I run mentoring sessions and training workshops on Compelling and considered portraiture. I coined the term ‘considered portraiture’ because I felt it described my process and end result. Not a snapshot or a luck shot, but a way of shooting that is slow and thoughtful, and that allows the subject and photographer to connect and to breath.

In my considered portraiture workshops I do not give one simple list of directions to achieve that one fine art shot, though I could if you asked, but you know what? I truly want people to come away with a shift in their way of thinking and seeing of the world; to open their eyes to different things, to look at art and history and people and everything. It needs to become a life long habit, and that together with this, and a slowing right down of process and a building a connection with your subject you will achieve amazing portraits, and not just a one off. It takes time, and most of all it takes the building up of a body of work; It takes ideas, and never fearing failure, personal projects that you feel passionate about, that aren’t aimed to make money, but instead encourage one to explore the world through photography, and make real connections with people. This will eventually start to seep into the style of your commissioned work, and then it will start to make sense.

It is a magical and liberating process, that may or may not make sense at first – but I promise you it works, and it is exciting.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, or send me a message if you want to find out more.

Carolyn xx

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