‘Chopped my hair… I need new headshots!’ This was what Lisa – Apolitical’s CEO and co-founder, and a dear friend of mine – messaged to say last month. The very next day we had our personal branding photography session in my studio and our old magic sparked again. In fact, Lisa had already been to see me for portraits earlier this year, back in April.
But that’s not where our photography story started.
Back in 2017, she had been one of the very first people to tell me she absolutely needed me to take a portrait of her. So, five years on, it was wonderful to share the space and capture images that really represented her. Her personality, her identity, her power…
And those first set of images worked brilliantly! Lisa turned up with an armful of dresses, the most amazing energy, and we had a lot of fun. One hour and five outfits later, she left. Happy with the portraits, Lisa started using them right away.
But so much in life is temporary: things change and changing perceptions mean we need to adjust and adapt. In fact, I like these transitions that we go through and I believe that portraits are the witness of that.
So, just a few months down the line, it was already time for Lisa to come back to me for a new set of images – ones that represented her in the here and the now.
That second personal branding photography session, somehow, felt even more natural and relaxed than the first. Plus, it took even less time as we both knew what she was looking for and what she needed. And the follow-up work was different too: Lisa asked for some light retouching. ‘I don’t mind ageing, but…’ she told me.
As a personal branding photographer, I do my retouching in such a way that softens the light in the portrait, but doesn’t take away the natural signs of ageing.
Instead I treat the process like painting watercolour under a magnifying glass.
A gentle touch, like make-up or a good night’s sleep, but nothing more. After all, empowering photography lets the real person shine.