This is the very talented playwright and journalist Clare Dwyer Hogg who needed updated photographs for her work. This probably goes without saying, but I love portrait photography, especially when the subject is a/ gorgeous and b/ a good friend.
Clare won't mind me telling you that she was very nervous before our shoot. She told me that she always feels uncomfortable in front of a camera and was unsure how to pose and look natural. This is why, when I photograph headshots, I always show my clients their images on the back of the camera as we go along. That way they can shout DELETE at anything they don't like, but also see what kind of pose works and why.
We started off in the very cool Owen's Food Store in Muswell Hill, North London which is a lovely bright cafe with some very photogenic tables and chairs. A prop such as a good looking chair not only adds interest to a photograph but is great for a nervous client who is unsure what to do with their hands and may feel a bit awkward standing up at first. It creates a lovely relaxed shot and can ease people into a session.
When we'd exhausted all possible locations inside the cafe (thank you Owen's for putting up with us), we popped outside to a little road just behind the cafe where there was a lovely brick wall to use as a backdrop. The light was perfect back there and because Clare had really started to relax and enjoy the shoot, we were getting some very natural looking images.
Finally we walked up to Alexandra Palace because I wanted to take a few photographs with a completely different background. When I take headshots I always try to give my clients a variety of looks to choose from, and the stunning green grass and row of trees at the park were the perfect contrast to the cafe and brick wall.