Life by Selena Photography
Montreal portrait & wedding photographer


The official blog of Montreal photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. Explore her signature photojournalistic style and stay up to date on her latest wedding and portrait photography projects here.

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 Life by Selena Photography blog post about portrait photography was produced by Montreal photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. You can see more studio portraits with Wade or Kat. This blog post was edited by Montreal communications professional Max Baru. Cet article de blogue sur la photographie de portrait Life by Selena était produit par Selena Phillips-Boyle, photographe montréalaise.

Cet article de blogue sur la photographie de portrait Life by Selena était produit par Selena Phillips-Boyle, photographe montréalaise. Cet article de blogue fut révisé par Max Baru, spécialiste de communication à Montréal.