Life by Selena Photography


This is a Life by Selena Photography blog featuring recent photographic and video projects by Montreal photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. This blog is my new initiative aimed at sharing a wider selection of photos: the spontaneous fits of laughter, the up-dos and the flowers, and your grandma dancing all the young folks off the dance-floor. I’ll be showcasing new projects on Mondays and throw-backs on Thursdays, with a potpourri of smaller projects dusted in between.

6 : Calista

Photographing someone in a natural way is a rather tricky endeavour. It is the subject’s conundrum to act relaxed, while being meticulously observed and recorded.
“Hello. Join me. Please act completely natural while I stick this obtrusive piece of machinery between your face and my face. I’ll be photographing you and later editing every little detail, including that nose hair coming out of your right nostril. So stand still and don’t blink. Just play it cool.”

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that it’s not enough for the subject to act natural while being photographed, they must also appear natural to the camera’s eye. Although we are all recognizably human in our moment-to-moment lives, we must contort our bodies in sometimes bizarre ways to capture that humanity for the camera. For example, in my most recent portrait session I was reminded of how often I must ask my subjects to straighten their otherwise imperceptible slouch, to adjust their head to avoid the appearance of an unnatural tilt, to widen their eyes to prevent a seemingly droopy gaze.

Having known Calista for quite some time now, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that her natural propensity for being a wallflower also allowed her to maintain a completely tranquil outward appearance for the camera. While other people may freeze or become self-conscious in adverse situations—both interpersonal and photographic—Calista exudes contentment and thoughtfulness. As a result, the portrait session unfolded with complete ease, which resulted in some absolutely stunning photographs.

Care to have me put a lens in the middle of our conversation? Contact me for details.

Tech specs
Date: October 21, 2015
Location: Toronto, ON (in studio)
Equipment: Canon 5diii, Canon 85mm

Up Next
On Monday I share more than smiles and perfect poses as Wade chronicles his body’s aging and weird quirks.

This article about Portrait Photography was written by the Montreal-based portrait photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle.