California dreaming in London: portrait photography for US singer/songwriter

California dreaming in London: portrait photography for US singer/songwriter

Working on portrait photography for promotional purposes can mean that sometimes the results don’t see the light of day until many months after the photo shoot.

Such was the case with some photography work I undertook for Dan Beaulaurier, a singer/songwriter from California who is now based in London. He needed some portrait photography for his first ever website to promote his work and raise his profile. Dan sings and plays in two bands but also performs and records as a solo artist. The photographs for his website needed to reflect a genuinely personal angle and distinguish him individually, apart from his group work.

Dan’s solo work is largely acoustic and there’s a gentle, reflective nature to his voice and lyrics. I strived to capture this in some of the photos with a softness of light and natural poses. He was often looking away from the camera – appearing to be almost unaware of being photographed and in his own world. There’s also a sense of dreaminess to the set up with little to place the location.

We tried both indoor and outdoor locations – the image above was taken in Dan’s home and was one of the first from the photo shoot. I started off with his own environment, as I find this is always useful in helping a subject to relax when having their portrait taken. I like the fact that he’s laughing in this shot. Both this photograph and another image he used on his website that shows him looking at his hands (demonstrating how his thumbs bend back more than usual!), helped to bring an amusing and happy feel to the shots – reflecting his open manner and the warm, light-hearted tone to his between song banter on stage.

For any artist, the look and feel of their website is crucial in expressing who they are and portrait photography that reflects their personality and their work is a great way to help convey their message. I hope his website brings him many new listeners and opportunities to perform.

Dan’s website is

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