Professional Portraits-Not just for Brides and Babies, Tampa Portrait Photography

Sometimes when I tell someone I am doing a Portrait shoot they ask me why my client wants to have photos taken. If my answer is, “They just want some nice professional photos of themselves” they often seem a bit puzzled. I then feel a bit irked as they seem to be putting down that which I most enjoy doing-you do not need a special reason or occasion to have portraits taken! Many people seem to think that Professional Photographers are for Weddings, Babies, and maybe High School Seniors. Or on another level for celebrities and fashion models. They don’t seem to see a reason for quality photos of themselves after the age of 18 unless they are getting married or holding up their drink in a bar for a friends point and shoot! (sadly this photo is often used on dating sites lol).


I love photographing people of all ages, but find myself most interested in the concept of shooting what I call ‘Artistic Environmental Character Portraits’ of adults. I feel that everyone should have some high quality portraits of themselves not too dissimilar to the portraits you see of your favorite musicians on their album covers. Who would not like to have such photos of themselves to share with friends and family for years to come? Who wouldn’t like to have a photo like that of someone they love hung on their wall? Before the camera was invented adults who had the means had their portrait commissioned by a painter. It is much easier these days to have some photos taken that represent who you are. But these days people either simply do not think about it or have the following reasons I have heard in conversations over the last few years:

1) “I don’t look good in Pictures” (sigh) I have heard this from some incredibly attractive people-people I immediately know on sight I could take fantastic photos of. Even the most beautiful people in the world look horrible in a lot of photos-just look at the tabloids! Most of my portrait shoots last 90 minutes or more and I take 300 or more photos in order to find out how to capture that person at their very best. I then take the photos up a few notches in Photoshop using a variety of tools and filters. People seem to especially like the photos I choose to turn to black and white or sepia. You can look better in photos then you think. That said some people are easier to photograph than others but this has just as much to do with the attitude and ‘spirit’ of the model as it does with how ‘technically’ attractive they are.

2) Cost. The cost of a portrait session of course varies from photographer to photographer. I feel a session with me falls into the ‘affordable luxury’ category. Any session with me includes at least 5 fully retouched web-ready photo files and a 90 minute session at the location of your choice in the Tampa Bay or Orlando area. Extra photos/prints/canvas wraps etc. do cost more but there is no rush to buy these at the same time as you pay for your initial photo shoot. Photos are archived so you may purchase additional items whenever it is most convenient. Many people spent a lot more in a month on drinks and dining out then they would on a photo shoot. Photos are something you will treasure always and future generations will be able to see you at your best.

3) It’s too much trouble, I need to lose weight first etc. I admit getting unique, quality photos does take some work. The model must put in just as much effort in as the photographer. Makeup, choosing outfits, relaxing and letting yourself go around the photographer-these things can be a little stressful depending on your personality. It is work but it is fun work. Clients always tell me they appreciate the amount of work that goes into quality photos much more when their session is finished.

Here are a few ways having quality portraits will benefit your life.

1) In today’s world of social media you are always being asked to provide a profile photo or photos. Posting unique high quality images can give you your ’15 minutes of fame’. Professional photos will attract a lot of positive attention your way. Particularly in the online dating world. You are a lot more likely to get quality people interested in you if your portrait was not taken in the mirror via cell phone!

2) Having these photos will mean more to your family and friends then you might realize.

3) It is a lot of fun and it is actually a chance to learn about yourself. You will find out just how much more attractive you are when you smile and you may also find a few expressions you would be better off avoiding :).

Throughout this post I have featured some of my favorite photos from portrait shoots I have done over the past 2 years. Every time I look at them I remember various moments from the shoot-discovering some great backgrounds when wandering around our location, laughter at some shots that didn’t work and the excitement that comes when I know I’ve got the best shot of the day.

If you like this post and my photos please share it with your friends via the Face Book and Twitter links below!
Stephanie Hayes is a Tampa Bay Portrait, Pet and Event Photographer


2 thoughts on “Professional Portraits-Not just for Brides and Babies, Tampa Portrait Photography

  1. Aw… My fav is the 1st one 😀 I agree that the professional shot will always stand out and will you give you a competitive edge whether you need your photo for a dating site or for any other web site where a photo is required. your photo WILL get attention and sometimes that’s half the battle. the more attention you get, the more confidence and opportunities you get. Also, you are right about family members – not only they LOVE the photos, they carry them around and share with friends and co-workers!! thanks, Steph!

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