The creation of the Super Session and why mindset trumps numbers any day.
I have several big passions when it comes to portrait photography – fitness, beach, and boudoir to name a few. All have major appeal to me for a variety of reasons. Recently I had the opportunity to combine two of them into what I’m calling a Super Session. It was so epic that I had to split the resulting images into two blog entries as to not overload the viewers.
It was so successful, in fact, that I’m now offering Super Sessions to everyone.
Miss A. was conflicted when she contacted me recently for a session. She loved the beach and boudoir aspects but she lived almost 5 hours away in another state so making two trips here was a considerable obstacle. I was thinking out loud when the idea of coming up for a weekend and doing both in one day popped out. She could get here, do two sessions back-to-back, hang out, spend the night, and head back the next day.
The benefit, we both saw after some discussion, was that if the weather was bad or something went wrong, we’d have a back-up day. We wouldn’t be rushed and could relax as there wouldn’t be a definitive end-time. We could explore more and really get into a groove. Plus, there was the added benefit of not having to pack, drive, set up, warm-up, et cetera, that would usually occur during two separate sessions.
She immediately pounced on the idea and we started to make arraignments.
We met, for the first time ever I might add, for a sunrise session at the oceanfront an hour before the Big Show. We got set up, went through outfits, I showed her basic posing, and we got into a groove so that, when the sun came up, we were firing on all 8 cylinders.
And boy was she on fire. Normally I’d be showing a lot more images from this part but she got to a point of comfort rather quickly where she wanted to explore more form/nude aspects as a personal journey. She is on a fitness journey and was just then comfortable with her body enough to start exploring the idea of nude.
Those images were shot for her and her significant other’s eyes only so I won’t be showing them here. Trust me when I say, they were amazing. She was amazing. She is one of my heroes.
I am always quick to point out that what makes a session successful isn’t a certain combination of numbers – weight, height, body fat composition. It’s the mindset of the person in front of the lens. In fact I have no problem at all saying that the right attitude trumps the numbers by a wide margin any day. Give me a person with a “Screw it, I don’t care, let’s do it and have some fun” mentality and I promise you, the images will be amazing.
I did a session a couple years ago where the client was a grandmother. She had the body that showed it. Her attitude? She earned this body, it bore life several times, and she wasn’t ashamed of it. It was what it was, she felt sexy, and she wanted to capture it in images. To this day I still rank that session as one of my best ones to date in terms of images. She rocked it and my mind.
Of course the corsets and leather outfits didn’t hurt, either.
After a couple hours of sun, surf, and sand with Miss A. we packed things up and headed to my place for Part II – the sensual side.
And that’s where I’ll end this entry. Stay tuned for more of this epic adventure, Constant Viewers.
Mark is a Virginia Beach-based photographer that covers all aspects of portraiture for the Hampton roads community. Contact him today at firstname.lastname@example.org.