To take the portrait of Harry Stirk, a highly effective lawyer with over a decade of experience and founder of Stirk Law. His approach is to obtain a thorough understanding of each client’s business and requirements in order to provide legal advice that fits with their strategy and practical objectives. He has a rounded approach and diverse clientele.
I was introduced to Harry who was keen to have his portrait taken as part of his rebranding which included a new website. Having trained and worked at top tier international law firms and major international banks both in the UK and offshore in Jersey and Guernsey he was keen to return to London. Initial thoughts and ideas included a desire to show an element of London and help situate the image. However a key factor for Harry Stirk was that he wanted his portrait to be representative of him in regards to experience, drive and professionalism which, he believed, were not apparent in his previous portrait.
As with all my sessions I started my time with Harry Stirk 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. Interestingly Harry did the same thing in regards to reading his audience, ie me, to find the best way to engage with me. While I normally try and aim for five final images, in this instance Harry wanted one image. In front of the camera I took various left, right, elevated and low angles to ascertain which was the best one from which to take Harry’s portrait. Ultimately we went with his left profile and took just over 20 frames. Despite being deliberate and careful when taking his portrait by the time we reached frame number 21, it was clear we would not improve on his expression as seen in frame nine.
I always believe the person who knows their face the best is the person who wears it. While I try to help guide, if a person believe frame ‘X’ is the best frame, then who am I to judge differently?