During this portrait session with our model I set my shutter speed to be faster than the flash without thinking. I was trying to shoot off tripod with rudimentary equipment (background, two strobes and one mounted strobe) in a friend’s bedroom. I like to be kept on my toes when taking portraits as otherwise it’s easy to forget that your subject is working hard, it eases the pressure on them and helps them focus on the picture as a whole. It can really help you both to feel like a team rather than subject and observer.

As with many photographers I like to take as many ‘un-posed’ pictures as possible, it opens up the session to not just be like a film set when someone calls ‘action’ and at all other times you are ‘off duty’ so to speak. I want portraits to capture a person and a lot of people aren’t just posing all the time (depends on the model I suppose).

I like this photo because it displays both the subject and the photographer as human. It’s not about ‘perfection versus imperfection’, often I find “oooh look at this model without makeup, how human” photos to be just as patronising, it’s about finding the truth and displaying it. I messed up, but it adds to the photograph.

Myself and this subject made a beautiful mistake.