Capturing Jaime

A New Year and New Studio

Surprisingly, January is not a very popular time to photograph headshots nor portraits (no pandemic withstanding). It’s cold and while the Tokyo illuminations images are absolutely spectacular, they often aren’t practical to use all year round.

This time of year, I would be covering events such as Japanese Shinenkais or New Year Parties for companies wanting a great start to the new year ahead. Feeling a bit restless, I decided to make use of my home studio and invite ladies to my home for a photo session. This session would be a different kind of session. It would be one that promoted confidence and a feeling of self-worth. I called them Empowerment Sessions.

There were 5 ladies who dared embark on this new style of photo session and Jaime Smith was the first person who I photographed

Opening My Home In a Pandemic

Of course, this session would come with its pre-cautions. After Jaime and I made our elbow greeting, we both washed our hands and measured our temperatures so that both of us would know the other was safe. This session would be a no-touch session to ensure each other’s safety. Of course, as the person being photographed, Jaime would have to remove her mask but being behind the camera, I kept my mask on for the duration of the session.

A Newfound Love of Window Light

For most of my career, I’ve always loved artificial lighting. The convenience of adding light where there is none has made me trust tools such as speed lights and strobes for over 5 years. Taking several steps back, I took note of the MASSIVE windows in my livingroom and decided to use them for my empowerment sessions.

Natural Light Tokyo Japan Model Agency
Tokyo Japan Model Posing in Natural Window Light

Making the Other Person Feel Safe

Coming from the US, it’s very easy to feel guarded. Especially when you’re in a new environment or if you’re alone with someone whom you’ve never met. I’ve known Jaime for almost a year and felt confident that she felt safe. As a female photographer, I often have that advantage. With this being a no-touch photo session, I imagine that’s another notch of safety. My goal is to eliminate any obstacle that would hinder a client from feeling confident and in the zone for the session.

It’s so rewarding capturing other artists during their journey towards success. If you’re building your model or actor’s portfolio, fill out the contact form below or send an email to tia@toptia.com.


Always looking forward to capturing Jaime again should the chance comes!

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