portrait3.jpgIn mid-March, we spent an hour or two with photographer, Nicole Toutounji, in her light-filled Upper West Side apartment. A consummate professional — let’s face it, she photographed Susan Sarandon among many others — she had us relaxed and soaking up the luminesence as she captured some moments.

The relaxing strains of an oud soundtrack played in the background as we sipped tea and nibbled biscuits (okay, cookies.) Then we started the process of trying out various poses and trying to look both natural and at our best, sans stylists, make-up artists or entourage.

It’s funny how stiff it can seem when you’re holding a pose, so conscious of every blink and grin, even when it is the eyes of your nearest and dearest you’re looking into. (I could only think about what a consummate professional it would take to infuse a shot with love and affection if it was someone you’d never met, let alone cared for!)

But a consummate professional was what we had in the form of Nicole, who had us relaxed in minutes. The portrait session turned out to be loads of fun. No doubt you’ll agree that she is a gifted photographer — as these, just a few of the photos, attest to.

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