Jessie is a senior in the class of 2014, and I was pleased to create her portraits in my Claremore studio in the Belvidere Mansion. Jessie is cheerful and photogenic, and we made a lot of terrific portraits. When I write these blog posts, I prefer to include only one photograph, one that represents my absolute favorite from the session. With Jessie, choosing only one was no easy task! But the image on the left was my eventual choice. I chose it because Jessie’s expression is what in the portrait world is called “composed”. In a composed expression, rather than the person smiling, they are looking with a relaxed, confident gaze. While smiling expressions are most common for senior portraits, there is a place also for a composed expression and its timeless feel. Not only that, but a composed expression draws the viewer more deeply into the subject’s eyes. In this portrait, Jessie’s eyes are soulful, and the image has a serenity that no smile can communicate.
Tom Launius, CPP