A WORD ABOUT MY PROCESS
I'm a working actor in New York City. I know the language of acting. As all actors appreciate, the personality is alive and revealed only when active thoughts are happening at the moment the picture is taken. And active thoughts are only born through verbs. To "smile", or to look "serious" or "sexy", or to "make your eyes alive!" are all variations of adjectives and nouns, and force you to move muscles to interpret what the stranger behind the camera means, and result only in self-consciousness. You're outside yourself, watching. We all know that feeling on stage, when a bad director asks for a "result". It's exactly the same in the photo studio.
Verbs are the release. Think of a friend, a child or a pet, whom you know well, say its name to yourself, then put him or her in the lens, and act on this image: Invite her to come to you; keep a secret from him; listen intently as she tells an important story; hatch a serious plan involving your friend. Now you are engaged with a living image in your real life, and amazing things happen. You have an active subtext, and it is transpiring in real time. The only parts of your face that adjectives and nouns can activate are lips and eyebrows. Verbs instantly activate the miniscule muscles around your eyes which are directly connected to your emotions. You can't hide it! The camera is now your friend and the camera loves subtext. It watches you actively engaging with a real person in your life, and unpredictable subtle complex and revealing variations happen automatically to your face which the viewer will instantly recognize as truthful.
Truth is the only flattery which works in this business. A picture which makes you glamorous or sexy may be momentarily complimentary, but it's only one character you can play. It masks the quirks, the humor, the twinkle, the concern and passion, which are yours alone. Living in the moment with your history and your verbs preserves your personality and natural energy, spontaneously and honestly.
It's easy and fun. Try it. Think of a special person who tickles you; feel the change when you image her. That change is eminently photographable, at that instant. It is You.
That is the You which the casting director wants to meet.