As you could probably tell, and as I have said in these pages before, I really enjoy photographing nature, the outdoors, landscapes...basically anything to do with the beauty that is the natural world around us. Over the course of the last couple of years, I have had a few opportunities to make images of people, from senior pictures and family portraits, to engagement and wedding photos. However, I had been a little lax in sharing those portraits here on my website. If you follow me on Facebook or check in to my site, you may have seen that last week I updated my portrait gallery, sharing a number of images that had previously been sitting on my hard drive. I have since added a few more to make it more complete. Click HERE to see the gallery page.
As with other types of photography, you don't just take pictures of people, you make pictures of people. There are a lot of things to consider when making a portrait. First of all, my goal is to create the best image that I can for the person. That's why they have chosen me to make their picture in the first place. This means finding the best light for the situation and maybe adding your own light to the scene. You must also be aware of the background, minimizing any distractions and clutter, and keeping your subject the center of attention. After all, they are why you are taking the pictures and the final images should reflect that.
There is so much more to it than just getting the correct camera settings for the proper exposure and sharpness. Expression plays a huge part as well. Probably the most important part. William Shakespeare said, "the eyes are the window to your soul." I'm not sure how true that is, but they are certainly an important part of any portrait. You can tell a lot just by looking at the eyes. The more relaxed a person is in front of the camera, the better the image will be. This all starts with the person behind the camera, the photographer. A photographer who is confident in their ability to make a great portrait will be more relaxed. Another saying in photography is, "the camera looks both ways," meaning that when you take a picture of someone, you are not only showing them, but also a little of yourself. The more relaxed and confident you are, the more your subject will be as well. This will show in their eyes.
There you have it. My brief take on making portraits in my limited experience doing so over the last couple of years. And without getting into technical jargon and camera settings. That's a topic for a different blog post....