January 19, 2022

Emotional Release Behind Portrait Sessions

Stephanie Portrait Session

Stephanie took a risk and put herself in a position of discomfort. She put herself in a personal event of growth and decided to let her confidence bloom. This was her first portrait session. We played her favorite music, went into the woods, used a black and a white rose as props, and created together. There was no pressure, no agenda, and no guidelines. All we did was go with the flow and create art. Stephanie let herself do something new and very different from her usual routine. She was so happy with her results.

I love bringing clients out on portrait sessions and showing them all new sides to themselves. Everyone has particularly gone through a lot this year, and my photoshoots can be cathartic for my clients. From taking them out of their comfort zone, letting the portrait session be all about them, to trying different poses to see what works for them. It’s all a part of the process in photography. When you take on a client, you’re not just doing a job, you’re getting to know them personally. You become a part of their life in a small way. With that, catering the session to them as much as possible is so important. It’s an honor for me to experience this with each client, and very fun to see how each session comes out for them.

I started realizing how my portrait sessions affect my clients when we talked about the sessions afterward. I would hear things like, “That was relaxing,” “I feel confident in myself,” “I’m happy I went out of my comfort zone,” and the like. It made me so happy to know that I could provoke these feelings out of my clients. Everyone deserves to have their own spotlight on them. I am so honored to bring that spotlight.

Sibel Portrait Session


Freedom to think, to be yourself, to chase your dreams. These are all things we crave as humans. How can we free ourself from our personal limitations?

The theme of Sibel’s session was freedom. Free yourself from your past self. Free yourself from your experiences. When life gets hard, we can stay the same or we can grow. Sibel has been focusing on personal growth in all aspects of her life. She felt absolutely free after her session. After becoming laser-focused on what she wants, she felt as if this session was the last step to letting go and moving forward.

Naturally, it was a very cathartic session for Sibel. She was her genuine, fun, happy self the whole time. That is what she wanted to look back on and remember when she sees these photos in 5 years. I feel so grateful and blessed to have been the photographer of this amazing emotional release.

It was a very hard year for her. She felt the lows of lows. Instead of staying the same, she chose growth. She chose to leave the past behind her, and to make herself proud. From eating better, to taking more time to herself, to setting boundaries with people in her life, she leveled herself up in so many ways. She chose improvement.

Along with my clients, I have undergone foundational changes. I would not be where I am without the amazing mentors around me. When it gets hard, I see my clients, my friends, my family, and the strangers around me continue to push on. I am so inspired by the people around me and I love showcasing their personal stories through my photography. 2020 was a major season of growth for everyone. I want to continue to share these stories, one session at a time.

I love you all so much.

Ally Coghlan <3

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