Exploring The World Of Portrait Photography

August 20, 2013  •  1 Comment


Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to take portrait photos for my friend Justin. He needed a profile picture for his company’s website, and he didn’t want to a cookie cutter, corny background photo that most franchise type of photography studios offer for $19.99 (you get what you pay for). Instead, he wanted a more artistic - yet still professional profile photo… So, Justin called me (I was honored). 


I am becoming aware of more and more people who are in need of this type of photography. They may need a professional photo for work; in addition, they may also need professional photos for networking websites, such as LinkedIn. But they want something that is more expressive than the traditional portrait photo, and portrait photography happens to be my area of expertise.


On the day of the shoot, Justin and I met at the location. I like using actual environmental locations whenever possible. It’s the little things - like an interesting and appropriate background that adds to the professionalism and artistic vision of the photo.


I could tell immediately that Justin was nervous. Other than taking class pictures, he never had a professional photo taken.  As the photographer, it was my job to make him feel comfortable and at ease because his nervousness could be reflected

in his photos.


I’m sure you have seen, or may even have taken yourself, a photo in which you look uncomfortable with a big cheesy grin or your, body looks as stuff as a board.  I can’t really explain what I did to make him more comfortable; however, I began to talk to him, in a casual manner - taking his mind off of the shoot itself. Getting people to talk is something I do naturally; it’s a skill that I picked up in my 20 + years when I worked as a barber.


When I was in school for photography, I realized that the portrait and photojournalism classes were absolutely my favorite classes. Through my years of experience, portrait photography has become my favorite. I love all the cool camera equipment that is used in a studio setting, such as lighting, reflectors…etc. But most of all, I enjoy the personal interaction with the people I am photographing. I think that personal connection and trust shows through my photos. 


As a barber, I believed that a haircut was more than just a haircut; it is so much more… Some of the side effects can’t be measured or put into words; however, I believe that the self-confidence, emotional uplift, and over all good feeling is the result of a good barber that pays attention to their client’s needs- and even closer attention to the details that makes that haircut experience so special.

I believe the same is true of photography - especially portrait photography.


 By definition, portrait photography is the photograph of a person or group that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject (person), the focus is usually the person’s face; however, the entire body and background may be included. That is exactly my goal in portrait photography - to bring out the expressions, personality, and mood of each person in the photo.


Below are a few of the photos from Justin’s photo shoot and some of my all time favorite portrait photos that I have taken. Please tell me if you think I was able to accomplish my goal. Also, more portraits can be viewed on my website, www.chandajones.com.




Above: Some of my favorite shots from Justin's photo shoot for profile photo. 


Above: Environmental portrait taken at Cheltenham High baseball field 


Above: Studio portrait of professional Jazz musician

Above: Environmental portrait taken at local playground

Above: Environmental portrait of cousins and upcoming college basketball players;  Justice and Brandon.

* This is NOT an actual Sports Illustrated magazine cover. 



Elaine Jones(non-registered)
I love Justin's pictures. In fact all of the portraits reflect your talent... Good stuff!!!
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