Summer is here, and since I had an early morning physician portrait to do, I took my 10-year old son to the studio. After the client left, we decided to have a little photo lesson.
What is lesson #1 in taking a portrait, I asked? Lighting he said. "No", it is making your client comfortable. The best set-up in the world, and all the photo knowledge won't ever make up for a client with a grimace on his/her face. It is #1 the photographer's job to make the subject comfortable in this unnatural setting.
So then, I took his photo, and he took mine. Of course, afterwards he suggested that if I had come prepared for a photo (Hair, make-up and dress), mine would have looked much better. (Yes, yes it would.)