If you follow my photography, you already know that graffiti is my jam. When I first started out, everyone told me to stay away from busy backgrounds, as it can distract from the subject of your photo when you're taking portraits. I tried to do the simple, clean backgrounds for a while, but I was going insane. I am so drawn to color and contrast. This gem in the photo is Reagan Swan. She is one of the coolest, most genuine people I have had the pleasure of meeting. She's about 5'2 but is a total firecracker. When we first started, we tried a pink, very brightly colored wall. I could tell she was not feeling it at all, so I asked what she would like to do to switch it up. Since pink isn't really my thing either, we set off in search of weird and dark graffiti walls. 

It is important to me that my clients are a part of the process. Yes, I am the one taking your photos and I have a handle on what I want them to look like, but the bottom line is that the photos feature YOU. What would you like to see? Are there any poses you've been wanting to try? I think what makes a photoshoot fun is the give and take from both sides. Once Raegan was in her element, she KILLED IT. She is truly such a natural. I always tell my clients that the first 20 minutes of your shoot will be awkward. That's just the honest truth. Not only are you warming up to me as a person and seeing how we vibe, you are also warming up to the fact that I am taking your photo. It's weird to suddenly become aware of your entire body and try to alter just one piece of it at a time. Trust me, I know. I don't particularly care for getting my photo taken. For whatever reason I curl my upper lip and do this creepy soft smile. Yeah.... who knows. It's okay to be nervous and it's okay to have bad photos. If I'm being honest, for every kickass photo you get, there were six horrible ones. Don't be too harsh on yourself. Everyone has a nervous tick. After you warm up, you'll see one photo that looks like you and sets the tone for your session. It will be the photo where you're like daaaayummm and then start busting out poses like you're a professional. Only then does your session really begin! It's supposed to be fun, so loosen up and let the rest follow. 

Audrey Dawson