Preparing for your portrait session

Firstly just jot down as many descriptive words as you can to describe the characteristics that you want people to see in your portrait.

You may want to look trustworthy, authoritative, caring, kind and helpful …

… you may identify yourself as creative, confident, knowledgeable, dapper, sophisticated, intimidating, respected, experienced and loveable …

Have a look at your words and group them under broad headings that make sense to you (this will help you work out the types and number of portraits you need)

Confident, knowledgable and sophisticated maybe characteristics you want to be known for at work? Your heading for these characteristics could be ‘Professional’ or ‘Corporate’.

Caring, dapper and loveable might be your characteristics socially, or when you are with a certain type of client? What could you group those under? FaceBook? LinkedIn? …

There are no rules, except the ones that you make.


Jump onto Google images and search for ‘portraits’ or ‘professional portraits’ or ‘Xxxx portraits’ if you’d like to shape the results a little based on the words/phrases or groups you came up with above. Then:

  1. Save all the pictures that you like in a word Doc (Pages if your a Mac person-I love Pages)
  2. Match the pictures to the headings you created above.
  3. Are these the looks you want to use to display the characteristics you’d like to share?

Almost there …


There are 4 basic elements at your disposal when creating a portrait.

  1. Background
  2. Clothing
  3. Body language
  4. Facial expression

Of course there is light too but that is where I come in 🙂

Collectively these will create the portraits you want, showing the characteristics you want to share.

Using all the great work you have done above. Build your portrait(s) from back to front in a sketch book … from the background to your facial expression. Believe me it doesn’t matter if you find drawing hard – stick figures are my best friends.

If you find this or any step daunting or tricky we can chat about it over the phone or over a coffee.


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