To take the portrait of Neil Cassie, who has more than 20 years senior leadership positions and founder of The Cassie Partnership, who help close the gap between who a company is and how its people behave.
I was approached by Neil who was keen to have his portrait taken as part of his rebranding which included a new website. Having searched for a London portrait photographer local to him in south London the results were either a wedding photographer or myself.
As with all my sessions I started my time with Neil with a conversation to find out and understand his portraiture requirements and, equally importantly, to learn about the man himself and what makes him tick in order to accurately direct him in front of the camera. In some cases portrait subjects know or believe one side of their face is more photogenic than the other; in this instance Neil Cassie instinctively wanted his portrait to be taken while looking straight to camera. Although it had been some time since Neil had had his portrait taken he knew the facial expression and look he was after. In this instance I took a total of just over 50 frames with his favourite being frame number eight. Despite being deliberate and careful when taking his portrait by the time we reached frame number 52, it was clear we would not improve on his expression as seen in frame eight; as such the session finished early.
I believe it is unfair to expect someone to stand in front of the camera, straight away at the start of a portrait session, if no previous relationship exists and expect a meaningful expression to be taken. When taking Neil Cassie’s portrait, he was comfortable enough to show that expression early in the session; thus there was little need to flog the horse dead.