The woman on his timeline was going through a breakup, and so she shared photos of herself on Facebook. It’s a part of the breakup phase everyone goes through, Zephon Price thought when he saw the pictures: I want to show my ex what he’s missing out on.
Then Price had a second thought: Why don’t I offer a shoot where they can be high-quality pictures, and you control your own narrative? Where you’re doing it for you instead of doing it to get back at someone else?
So he reached out to his friend to see what she thought. And the breakup photoshoot at Zephon Price Studios was born.
As of this interview, Price, of Independence, had shot three breakup photo sessions, which he sees as an opportunity for empowerment. The point isn’t for the subject to show others—or an ex—how great she’s doing (so far, all of Price’s clients have been women). The point is to make the client feel great about herself.
Price likes to keep these breakup shoots relatively candid and light-hearted. At the end of the day, he wants the subject to have fun. Instead of posing his subjects, he lets them take control of the attitude and atmosphere. While two opted for playful shoots, for instance, the third asked for boudoir photos.
During the shoots, Price says, he doesn’t even mention the breakup. It’s simply not part of the discussion because his goal is to get them out of that headspace. Instead, he says, This is gonna be an esteem booster.
“You look back on these pics, and you look at the person” you were, he says. “You look at yourself differently [after]. The intention is different.”
While his subjects might start out a little tentative or uncomfortable, Price says it usually only takes about 15 minutes for them to loosen up and have fun with the shoot.
So far, his clients have been women in their mid-20s to early-30s, all coming out of dating relationships. He hasn’t yet booked a breakup session for anyone going through a divorce, and he also hasn’t had anyone mention using the photos for any dating website—but that’s not to say that won’t change as more clients learn about his photo sessions.
Whether clients choose to share their images on social media or keep them for themselves, Price says his ultimate goal is to have his subjects walking away feeling great about themselves.
Consider Price’s first client—the friend he originally approached with the idea.
“She loved it,” he says. “She felt better about herself after it. She didn’t have that breakup funk that was going on a week or so prior to [the photoshoot]. It just made her feel a little better.”