Mona Lisa Moment
Tiffany Bourgeois

What is a Mona Lisa moment?

This moment has happened organically several times during our portrait sessions. I recently realized what elements made these portraits so striking to me. There are a handful of elements that come together that set these portraits apart.

I define our style of portraiture as “traditional sensibility for the modern area.” Our work is traditional and polished in nature but at the same time has a modern flare. We like to keep things simple and focus on the connection between the camera and our subject. This is why we love working in our studio. We are able to strip away the distractions and take the time to explore our clients’ different emotions and how they show those emotions visually through their expressions. We absolutely love how a studio setting allows us to work through these micro movements of the eyes, lips, cheeks, chin and eyebrows. The slightest rise or fall can completely transform the expression. We share so much of ourselves through our expressions and body language. It’s fascinating, really.

The Elements

So what are the elements that make up a portrait so grand that one would coin the phrase “Mona Lisa Moment” to describe it? The most important element is that you don’t get tired of looking at it. You gaze upon it again and again to study it and each time look a little longer. Everything feels so balanced that your eye follows the composition over and over. The expression is soft but not too inviting. You are unsure what the person is thinking or feeling. It’s neutral and pleasant but reserved and mysterious. The styling is elegant but understated, with all the colors complementing each other. Finally, the lighting is soft and minimal. It’s not complex but it’s doing all the right things to flatter the subject.

I understand that many of these elements seem paradoxical. That’s exactly why these portraits tend to pull in the viewer. It’s not the hype alone that keeps people standing in line for hours outside of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Everyday, over 30,000 people view the Mona Lisa. Many find themselves hypnotized by the grand simplicity of Mona Lisa’s portrait.

So regardless of the service we’re offering, our portrait consultations moving forward will include the question: “Would you like us to create a Mono Lisa Moment for you during your portrait session with us?”

We love to explore, style and create this je ne sais quoi opportunity for our clients in our studio!

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