Copy
Logo

Dear <<First Name>>,

Photographs are a lie. They show a moment, but say nothing about what preceded or succeeded that one moment. Did the cake fall on the dress; did the cake have salt instead of sugar in it; was she really smiling.

But lying is the least of my problems with smiles. Later in this letter I shall try to convince you to practice your poker face before you face a camera.

Today I write about:

  • the qualities of good portraits

  • how you can give corporate headshots a miss

  • do people hang strangers’ pics on their walls

I hope you find this entertaining.

Why smiles make boring portraits

‘Bird’. Limited edition print 70” x 42”. Price indication starts at USD 7,050

It is a conspiracy. All our lives we are asked to ‘Say Cheese’ the moment the eye meets the lens. Bare our teeth, hide our souls, and make portraits that are utterly forgettable.

While great painters and photographers make pictures of sombre faces and collect claps, flowers, and even dollars for them, we look at our own pictures and wonder why our parents did not pay for those teeth braces.

A smile has a lot going for it…it is claimed to make people more attractive, it is contagious, it can lift spirits…I can go on and on like an orthodontist’s advertisement. But that is the point. Orthodontist ads do not make good portraits.

Sombre faces are more relatable. After all we smile for only about 15 minutes in a day. That is, we spend most of our days without smiles, especially at work.

Poker faces also have a kind of mystery around them that makes people linger on them longer if only to wonder what lies behind the expressionless faces.

More technically, our eyes are attracted to the lightest part of an image. Teeth compete with the white of the eye and are a lot bigger. And I have never found anyone’s soul in their teeth.

Allow me to present a few of my portraits in defence of my case:

‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735
‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735
‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735
‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735
‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735

Want a headshot that looks good on your website? Here is the recipe

‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735
  • Wear what you’d wear everyday, and not at your wedding. That makes you look more likeable; Unless you intend to intimidate.

  • Insist on natural light. Best is by a sunlit window with reflectors on the other side. A studio setup is good…but for models. You want to look believable and trustworthy

  • Do not look into the camera…that makes you a salesperson….and who likes the truth anyway.

Or, just book my time and get flattered!

Strangers do look good on your walls

Abstract portraits have a timeless appeal on walls. They catch your guests’ attention and speak about your evolved taste that goes beyond mountains and rivers.

‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735

Finally, if you do smile, make it like so

‘Dance of the Swans’, Limited edition print, 1/12. 16”x26”. Price indication starts at USD 1,735

I hope reading this has been worth your while. Please do smile often. It makes you attractive; It is contagious; It lifts spirits; It may be good for your heart as well, who knows. Just not on camera.

~Cheers

Jitendra | Jiten | JC

Follow my Instagram, visit my website, or write to me by clicking the following icons

Instagram iconWebsite iconEmail icon

Copyright (C) 2021 Jitendra Chaturvedi Fine Art Photography. All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe