Nina Beilby, the 167th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, does more than take people’s photos for a living.
She also, inadvertently, taps into people’s insecurities and the stories they tell about themselves.
Posing for a portrait can be a confronting experience, because if our physical flaws are exposed, what will that say about our status and self-worth?
Sometimes, Nina says, when people see their photos, they’re shocked to discover how many wrinkles their face might have or how a particular body part actually looks.
Nina has been taking personal, corporate and scenic photos for 25 years, which means she’s not only a skilled artist, she’s also great at building rapport with her subjects.
One thing Nina does to reassure clients is to (sincerely) compliment them on attractive features, such as their eyes. Sometimes, they react with surprise – it had never occurred to them that they might have nice eyes.
Nina quickly put me at ease – she’s very warm and has a delightful sense of humour – so I’m sure she has the same effect on her clients.
I really enjoyed meeting Nina. I’m just disappointed our photo reveals my receding hairline.
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