I met Melissa with two other young folks (later post) in St. Perersburg. As usual, I tried for a genuine expression, not a cliche' camera smile. Two images look sort of like this.
Certainly unconventional, but it is a bit unique and authentic. This certainly does not look contrived. So I posted this on the Fred Miranda People Forum, which is a VERY vibrant and active community. See it HERE.
This is a comment that I received, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but it's a very unflattering photo of a pretty girl". I replied that my feelings are never hurt by thoughtful sincere comments, and then went on to explain the objective of my project (and this blog).
The face is our window to the world, and it reflects our inner selves. Carl Sandburg wrote, "Often the faces speak what words can never say". What better way to look for story in this world than to examine faces? But to reflect our inner selves, our facial expression needs to be genuine, authentic, not contrived and artificial. The classic camera 'say cheese' smile is artificial. It may be pretty, or handsome, but it is not a reflection of who we really are.
Fine art photographer, Paul Capronigro, said, "It's one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it's another thing to make a portrait of who they are." Well, I do not profess for one millisecond to be able to show who someone is in a portrait. But I endeavor to show one small aspect of, one glimpse into, a person's personality, a person's individuality. And this facial gesture may not be flattering in a classic sense. But if you believe that humans are unique and interesting, it won't be unflattering either.