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During breaks in the session with Natalie we chatted about how we perceive other people view us - and how that perception often differs to how we view ourselves. She asked for my view of her and I told her that I tended to see two distinct sides to her personality: playful and good-natured but also straight talking and pulling no punches.

This portrait is an example of the former.

Natalie was initially more comfortable being directed rather than being left to her own devices. This led to some nice posed shots but it wasn't quite the look I was hoping for. Also it's very difficult to instruct someone to act in a cheeky manner; it needs to be spontaneous to work effectively on camera.

However, as the session progressed, Natalie started to get more into the notion that there were no rules as to what she should or should not do. She became less reliant on my directions and I could see her confidence increasing. There was wild hair swinging, face-pulling, a range of expressions, and a progressively more free-form feeling to the photographs.

With the darting eyes and hint of a smile, she's not taking herself too seriously in this image. Even without looking at the camera it is obvious that she is 'aware' of it and playing along with the moment. It's a nod to that playful side of her character and a result I was very happy with from a short session that began more conservatively.

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