My first portrait session with Louise M.

The Suffolk-based model will soon be heading to New York City.

I recently had the honor and pleasure of working with Louise M. represented by SplashModel. She recently won the catwalk competition during 2018’s VAFW’s Designer Showcase and will soon be making the trip to NYC to visit several top modeling agencies.

The idea behind this session was to keep it as “clean” as possible. No dramatic make-up, no heavy editing of the images, et cetera, so that agents can see the “blank canvass” onto which they can envision looks and designs upon. Now, that isn’t to say we couldn’t play a little. So we did.

To be honest, I’m not that much into heavy retouching anyways. I like to keep things as real as possible. This actually starts during the photo session. Great make-up and hair does most of the work. Lighting and posing are done in such a way as to accent the person’s positive attributes while diminishing the not so positive aspects.

During the editing phase I’ll gladly remove anything temporary like acnes, breakouts and such. I’ll even out skin tones, when needed, and add a little “snap” to the eyes from time to time to really make them stand out in close-ups. That’s about it. My goal is to make the person in front of my camera look like they are having a really great day, beauty-wise. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, why would I want to try and change that?

Louise is a natural beauty. After giving her some basic posing tips she was off and running. The most important thing to have during a session is fun and we were having a blast. We incorporated her love of horses into things which made things even better.

At one point I was sitting on the ground, taking pictures of her on a horse when the other horse came over and gently nudged my head with her nose. I guess she was feeling left out and wanted some attention which I gladly gave here. I’m a farm boy at heart so I was right at home.

The session flew by far too fast, as they typically do. We talked about many things after everything was packed away and ended the day with a group hug with her, her mom and I. Then it was time to part ways with promises that we would do it again soon.

Mark Knopp is a Yorktown/Hampton, Virginia-based portrait photographer.


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