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  • Writer's pictureFloating Leaf Studios

Authenticity is a mindset

We all want authentic portraits, but how is that done? It isn't by constructing a persona, it's done by letting go.


This morning I took a long walk with a photographer friend and talked about the idea of how to get authentic portraits. How do we get to the soul of a person? How do we dig deeper than the surface and let go of our preconceived notions of what a photo is supposed to look like?

We both came to the conclusion that we see someone as they are, and almost every time overlook the things that make them hesitate, that give them insecurities, that keep them from fully being present in front of the camera.

We all want to be authentic. That word has been exhausted in popular culture lately, but how is that accomplished?

It’s accomplished by letting go, trusting, feeling. It isn’t done by harboring an idea of how we are supposed to look, or how we looked before.

Each step we took, with mocha in hand, it became more clear. Our best work is done when both the photographer and the client ditch what the social world says a photo is supposed to look like. My best work comes while walking the tightrope between safety and failure, when the shot has a chance of crashing and when the security of success isn’t guaranteed, but when real is what is in front of me. Not constructed or aspired to, but as is.

Authenticity is a mindset.
It isn’t procured, it’s observed.
It isn’t manipulated, it’s free flowing.

Shoot from the heart, feel from the heart. Exist from the heart… and let the joy from the final product do the rest.



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