Let your Face do the talking
Whether it be a headshot on LinkedIn or a fun headshot on your instagram your portrait will communicate something about who you are and will be in many cases the first visual impression of you to a curious world. The power is with you in deciding how best to represent yourself, how to reflect the qualities that best represent who you are, whether it be your authentic self or your ambitions, your aesthetic beauty or sense of style. So much can be achieved in that first impression that you give to the public and how they will perceive you. Although we can't control and predict every reaction we can invest in putting our best photographed self forward and increase the chances of a first interview, casting or deal making meeting.
I remember when I was a youngster my mum berated me for wanting to be a Jack of all trades and it hurt. Why couldn't I be a pilot, or a vet or a computer engineer? Well I tried to please her and ended up focusing on my music skills and pursued a career as a classical pianist. But true to form my innate need to explore and experience life through reinvention in whatever career I wished to explore became the driving force of my life. So I gave up the piano career and decided to start again. Quite literally from scratch. I ended up working in a restaurant. A Thai restaurant and what a place to learn about people in a culture that is steeped with Buddhism, wonderful spicy food and a million smiles. It was this engagement with people and learning how to adapt and empathise through working alongside people from a mindset and culture that was so different to mine that his given me the gift of empathy and a skilful insight into people. This was in South Africa in the 90's and when I moved to London in the 2000's I began work in a prestigious Michelin restaurant and studied to become a sommelier. What a treat to study the art of viticulture and sample the great wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rioja and across the globe. Here was a beautiful art form that contained within a bottle a snapshot of a time and place that spoke of hot summer nights, or cooling sea breezes, hand picked grapes. It was wonderful. I began travelling and saw much of the worlds vineyards and experienced the friendship and company of wine obsessed people. After a number of years I decided to become a publican. I wanted to explore my British roots and what better way than being at the heart of British culture - the local pub. For a while I applied my talents in creating new and exciting wine lists and getting to know the craft of beers, making friendships with customers and running businesses. It was exhilarating and exhausting. In my spare time I would play the piano above the pubs I lived in and go on walks with my camera dreaming of a life where I had my own studio where I could teach music and explore the art of photography and film making. Dreams do come true. Once nurtured the dream starts to grow a life of its own and attracts into the orbit of the dreamer the necessary challenges and opportunities that help feed it.
In pursuit of this dream I left the hospitality industry and became passionately involved in piano teaching and built up a regular flow of weekly students. I was also working part time for Nissan as a driver demonstrating their new electric car technology and doing other promotional work. It was on these jobs - jobs that attracted artists and actors, people who needed flexible working hours so they could concentrate on their artistic pursuits that I began exploring headshot photography. Headshots of all my actor colleagues started to splash across my website and then shooting theatrical performances of Macbeth and other productions that they were involved in. Suddenly I was in a world that combined all my talents. Work that involved my knowledge of music, of wine and travel, the stage - the projects and new connections started to multiply.
So despite being a jack-of-all-trades this attribute has in fact enabled my photographic and videography career. In the past couple of years I have filmed in New York, traveled up and down Cuba filming a violinist, filmed lifestyle shoots in Amsterdam for well known wine brands, filmed up in the Swiss alps, in Venice, Bordeaux, Florence, Naples and traveled up and down the UK filming festivals, concerts and even weddings. This constant engagement with people and pushing my limits brings with it a depth of knowledge not only of photography and the world around me but of people too.
And finally the portrait or headshot. In the years that I have taken photos of people the one common thread that runs through all my shoots is how to maintain a sense of engagement with my subject. For many people being photographed can be daunting. There is a sense that one must try to be or look like something that they aspire to or feel they should look like. It can be a lot of pressure standing there in front of a stranger feeling awkward and grimacing at the camera. I have often found that conversation brings out all sorts of hidden beauties in a person. Life stories, the passion behind a particular hobby or the enjoyment of a particular track played during the shoot. These not only add distractions to the dilemma of having to present a choreographed self but unwittingly shape the character and form of your headshot. If you have ever done yoga like I have and experienced the calm sense of letting go through relaxation and focusing inwards, softening the muscles of the face particularly the forehead, cheeks and lips you'll find that when I employ these techniques particularly in the beginning stages of a shoot posing becomes unnecessary as you will become gently aware of letting go the tensions in your face
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Kate Stenson's review on 20 Aug, 2019
My first shoot. Vincent put at ease immediately. He listened to what I needed and organised the shoot perfectly. We tried lots of different ideas and found what worked best. I am delighted with the results - the photos are so much better than I could have hoped for! He also introduced me to some wonderful new music. Thank you so much!
Yael Koch's review on 18 Jan, 2020
Vincent is a professional and very friendly photographer. We had a photoshoot session with my daughter and Vincent not only had plenty of patience but also provided constructive guidance, which helped us take perfect images. I’m super happy with the photos and the results. Highly recommended!!
John Shownmi's review on 3 Jan, 2020
Amazing experience , Vincent was excellent at suggesting various poses and techniques which helped bring out the best in the session
Customer rated you highly for: professionalism, work quality, value, communication
Gamal Sadaka's review on 14 Dec, 2019
Working with Vincent had been a wonderful experience. He is absolutely professional, friendly, down to earth, engaging, hospitable, hard working, reasonably priced and knows what exactly the customer really needs, which is the main thing. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to get their photography & videography taken for weddings, modelling, professional photoshoot for LinkedIn profile, corporate events and Galas, or anything else that you might need and it's photography related! He has all the equipments & accessories needed for your photography needs. Definitely buy with confidence!! Thank you Vincent for all your hard work and for helping me with my headshots.. I wish you all the best with everything, and definitely will be in touch if I need your professional help in the future 😁 Merry Christmas and happy New year in advance.. G