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The Psychology of Portrait Photography

By September 16, 2015 September 28th, 2017 BLOG, HEADSHOTS, PORTRAITS

The Psychology of Portrait Photography

As a headshot and portrait photographer for over 12 years, I have worked with people from all walks of life. I’ve learned so much about people through the process of closely working with them during a portrait session and I am fascinated with how individuals view themselves and how much they seem to focus on their tiny flaws. 

Why do some of us dread having our portrait taken?  Why are we so hypercritical of our faces and flaws?  How can we be more self-accepting and less critical of ourselves?  What can we do to move into a space of self-acceptance and confidently put ourselves out there into the world? 

Getting your headshot or portrait taken doesn’t have to be something to dread or fear.  The experience can be fun and enjoyable and may even help lead you into a space of more confidence and positive self-acceptance.


Trust me, I’ve heard it all when it comes to things focus on and obsess over when it comes to comments or judgments about their appearance:

  • My mom said to keep my mouth shut because I have a horsey smile.
  • My dad said not to put my hair behind my ears because my ears stick out.
  • In High School, I had a bad photo freshman year and was then teased for all the rest of high school.
  • I have a crooked smile.
  • My eyes are uneven.
  • My teeth are weird.
  • I have a long nose.  A bumpy nose.  A wide nose.  I crooked nose.  I flat nose.  A big nose.
  • My last photo session was awful.
  • My sister is photogenic, but I am not.
  • I don’t like my…face, eyes, hair, nose, mouth, smile, ears,  etc…
  • I need to lose weight.
  • I hate my double chin.
  • My skin is rough.
  • My teeth are not white enough.
  • My boyfriend told me I look weird when I smile.

(All real comments! I’m not joking!) 

Everyone has at least one thing about their face that they do not like and this tiny thing is not actually noticeable to other people.

The real question is HOW do we FEEL about ourselves?    


Plastic surgery for example – one can concretely alter something about their appearance that they do not like.  But often this doesn’t change the way the person feels.  They are changed on the surface but not underneath.

Our appearance is symbolic.

I’d like to find a way to take that perception away so that people feel confident about investing in themselves through an empowering visionary portrait experience.

Photographs are like mirrors.  In daily life, we can avoid mirrors.  In our portrait session, we can not.

We are often rushing through life and not really seeing our appearance.  A photograph stops a moment of time and we have no choice but to see our appearance.  It can be an unsettling reality check.

I connect with my subjects from the moment they contact me.  I build a trusting relationship in a short period of time and I am sensitive to my subject’s feelings.

No matter where you are in your life, whether you are an attorney, teacher, interior designer, actress, model, doctor, mother, or chef, you are all visionary individuals. Powerful people with goals and ambitions to make the most of your life. Whether you’re looking for professional success through a powerful headshot or corporate photography, or you looking for a more personal satisfaction by capturing an authentic portrait of you, I am here to help you make it happen.

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Headshot of Tracy Wright Corvo

Hello, I’m Tracy Wright Corvo.

I am a headshot and commercial brand photographer based in Honolulu, Hi.

Are you ready to put your best face forward? Let's talk


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