{Maine Portrait Photographer}: Lifestyle Session for a Writer

I recently had the honor of spending time with Stephanie and photographing her for a second time. I photographed her a few years ago, then it was time for a new website and a shift in the look for her imagery so she contacted me again.

Stephanie Cotsirilos, writer | Portland, Maine.

Stephanie Cotsirilos, writer | Portland, Maine.

If I had my way she would need to re-do her website every year because I like hanging out with her, and I like listening to her ideas and figuring out together how to get the images that will work for this next step in her life. Her background in theater, law, consulting, and writing make her a person of many talents and multiple experiences. And I love being around that.

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She took her life and her talents from NYC to Maine, and now lives, creates, and writes here. This time we used her home in Portland with its amazing light and pockets of color to showcase her and varying looks depending on what she needs for different forums and marketing pieces. You can see more at her new site here

So, thank you once again, Stephanie for trusting me to capture who you are, and for the lively conversation while we make it all come together!

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Maine Portrait Photographer: Head Shots, part 1

So, I photograph people. Over the last several years I started photographing a local real estate company’s head shots, in addition to actors, small business owners, and anyone in need of a head shot for promotional use. I don’t use a studio, and don’t travel with a big lighting set up. This way of working has its pros and cons, but it works for me. Plus, it allows me to carry what I need on any shoot and not draw any more attention to myself than carrying a camera already does.

So, now you know a little about how I work. I thought I would blog and share some info about where/what/how with some of these shoots, in order to help with ideas and so people can see what works and why.

As a a natural light photographer, I avoid mid-day/the harshest light. A sunny cloudless day is actually not my friend. 9am in Maine most of the year is already harsh, in the world of natural light. And Portland does not have high rise buildings, so finding shade and even light can be a challenge at times.

Michelle, Hair Stylist Extraordinaire. This image is my favorite from her session, but not the one she chose based on what she needed to use the image for.  Taken in January / roughly 3:30 pm / with snow on the ground. Yes, we are outside - in an entry way before entering a museum.

Michelle, Hair Stylist Extraordinaire. This image is my favorite from her session, but not the one she chose based on what she needed to use the image for.

Taken in January / roughly 3:30 pm / with snow on the ground. Yes, we are outside - in an entry way before entering a museum.

Different times of year will give different kinds of light, just like different times of the day will. The colors and light tend to vary in seasons, depending on what’s growing and what is happening in the sky (producer of the natural light). But more than just the sky giving you the light, there is also the factor of your surroundings. This photo above of Michelle is taken in an area with a lot of bright architectural details, so I wanted to use this to our advantage. Plus her hair and those walls!

Kristia, actress.  Downtown Portland, Maine / October /roughly 5:04 pm. I stopped her by this wall so we could capture some of that light happening & dancing around Free Street. I will likely show more of Kristia in other blog posts on this topic, as we photographed her until roughly 7pm, which in October in Maine means you are on borrowed time with the light, but can still make use of that time of day.

Kristia, actress.

Downtown Portland, Maine / October /roughly 5:04 pm. I stopped her by this wall so we could capture some of that light happening & dancing around Free Street. I will likely show more of Kristia in other blog posts on this topic, as we photographed her until roughly 7pm, which in October in Maine means you are on borrowed time with the light, but can still make use of that time of day.

Casey, actress.  Portland City Hall / also October / approx 7:20 pm. The bright architecture (again) helped us be able to keep photographing here at this time of day/year.

Casey, actress.

Portland City Hall / also October / approx 7:20 pm. The bright architecture (again) helped us be able to keep photographing here at this time of day/year.

Tom of Port Properties.  On a street in Portland / late October / 3:42 pm / weather: chilly and a little windy, sky: overcast.

Tom of Port Properties.

On a street in Portland / late October / 3:42 pm / weather: chilly and a little windy, sky: overcast.

With both Krisita and Casey there were a few locations and outfit changes, as is needed for people who want a few looks. For others, like Tom of PortProperty, we needed one spot and just a few minutes of his time. So as I walked to meet him and his employees I decided where I wanted to photograph them, then spent just a few minutes with each person - partly so they could get back to work, mostly because it was cold, but also because sometimes people are doing something they have to do rather than something they want to do. And I try to respect that.

Dava, owner Portside Real Estate.  In a warehouse / August / roughly 9:11 am. Confession: we got lucky this day as this door was open so we ducked inside to get out of the sun, which gave us this great background and nice light. I have not been able to repeat this moment in this spot ever since.

Dava, owner Portside Real Estate.

In a warehouse / August / roughly 9:11 am. Confession: we got lucky this day as this door was open so we ducked inside to get out of the sun, which gave us this great background and nice light. I have not been able to repeat this moment in this spot ever since.

Julia of Portside Real Estate Group.  In the same complex where I photographed Dava, but in winter and around the corner.  January /roughly 3:08 pm / Bright sun, but cold day - so we ducked into an alley.

Julia of Portside Real Estate Group.

In the same complex where I photographed Dava, but in winter and around the corner.

January /roughly 3:08 pm / Bright sun, but cold day - so we ducked into an alley.

Carrie, realtor.  South Portland / February (yes! it was cold) / roughly 4:07 pm.

Carrie, realtor.

South Portland / February (yes! it was cold) / roughly 4:07 pm.

So, as seen here photos can happen year round, even in cold Maine with no indoor studio. I will continue to share posts on this topic and some of my favorite times and places to go.

And of course, there’s always inside, in winter. This home was perfect for it, had great natural light, light walls, clean decor. I loved how her necklace matched the decor in this home that wasn’t even hers!

And of course, there’s always inside, in winter. This home was perfect for it, had great natural light, light walls, clean decor. I loved how her necklace matched the decor in this home that wasn’t even hers!

Want your head shots by the ocean? Great! We’ll plan it at certain times of the year (want those boats in the background? Then it needs to be after Memorial Day and possibly by Labor Day…) AND a certain time of day. So head home, eat dinner, and get your face ready for your close up because I only schedule those sessions in the evening. Or early morning.

Except of course, in the winter!