The importance of natural portraits

The importance of natural portraits

Photography is a little like fashion. You have seasons, when everyone displays glossy pictures, other seasons, when everyone works with a blurred backgrounds and the like.

While many businesses still use glossy pictures, I recommend the use of natural pictures and more precisely of natural portraits.

The reason is simple. We live in times, when more and more companies struggle with customer trust. While years ago people would still be amazed by a glossy scene, people today are a lot more wary. As a result they are rather more suspicious about a company, which solely uses that kind of artificial imagery. The season for glossy pictures in business presentation is past – or should be.

In order to gain a customer’s trust, it is more important today, to share a real look behind the scenes, rather than a fabricated one.

Allow me to give you an example: A doctor today isn’t per se a trustworthy “God in white” anymore. If said doctor presents herself in a welcoming, natural manner, rather than in a superior, remote one, the patient will be prepared to trust her or him. The same is true in other professions.


Maria Heimsuchung Caritas-Klinik Pankow

How to archive natural portraits?

Meet the photographer and talk about your work, your aims, your clients. Also allow for some test shots. Make sure, that you feel comfortable in the company of the photographer.

If you find, that you can sufficiently relate to the photographer, talk about the kinds of locations, that are relevant to your work. A hotel manager in London might like to have a London sight in the background. A doctor might like to have a garden in the background – as contrast to his usual sterile and cold work surroundings. A carpenter might feel most comfortable at his work bench.

Once the location or locations are set, decisions can be made about the outfit and more importantly about the outfit’s colours. Make sure, that you feel comfortable with what you are wearing.

The most important part is, of course, the photo shooting itself.


The photo shooting

The best way for you to relax is to talk. The photographer already knows quite a bit about you and can ask you questions about your work. Answering those questions can take your mind of the camera. You could also ask a colleague to join you for a conversation. If this doesn’t put your mind in a more relaxed state, work. That is to say – do, what you would normally do. It is the photographers business to observe you with the camera, while you attend to your business and it is for the photographer to find the right moment for the portrait.

Yet another method is a more meditative one. Find out, whether you are more comfortable sitting or standing. Once you have found a position you feel good about, close your eyes, lower your head and concentrate on your breathing, until your photographer gives you the signal to lift your head and look into the camera. This method can be employed several times and usually yields a good result. I usually resort to this method, when there is little time for the individual photo shooting.



Each person is an individual with unique appearance, with unique talents and key aspects. It is the photographers task to find your strengths and to catch it in your portrait. That way, your portrait will not only appear natural, it will also tell something about who you are and what you are offering to your clients, customers or patients.


A few examples – for more see portrait photography

Vinzenz Palotti Hospital
Vinzenz Palotti Hospital
Veronika Blum, Künstlerin
Vinzenz Palotti Hospital
Maria Heimsuchung Caritas-Klinik Pankow
Maria Heimsuchung Caritas-Klinik Pankow


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