This is one of several photography teachers at Texas Tech University. Amy Boren has been my teacher for Digital Photography 1 and now my Senior Portfolio. Most photographers hate getting their photo taken, they are behind the camera for a reason, not in front of it. This is Amy's mindset. Personally, I love both. I like to think that makes me stronger as a photographer, because having the knowledge of how to model and an enjoyment for it, I can better communicate instruction to my models.
When you are getting your portrait taken, you need to have a good mindset. If you are like Amy, you'll go into the session thinking you are unattractive and nobody is going to get a good shot of you, you're not photogenic, you're difficult to work with, yadda yadda blah blah blah! Honestly, the photo is going to turn to shit if you are that unhappy with yourself. "Don't make me look ugly," she said. I told her to stop being ugly. It got her attention and then I explained myself. If you think you're ugly, you will be ugly and no matter how beautiful a lighting setup is done, you'll still be ugly. However, if you think beautiful thoughts, positive thoughts, the photos from that shoot are going to jump exponentially because then you are not difficult to work with, you are photogenic, great shots are taken and damn, you are beautiful.
This was taken with a clam shell lighting setup (one light on top, one on bottom, like a clam shell) on a white background. Amy, you are beautiful. This was one of my favorite shoots.