Chapter 12: Portrait Photography
Whether you set out to be a portrait photographer or not, there’s no escaping the times when you want or need to photograph people. These are some of the most valuable opportunities you have to capture truly memorable images — images that are treasured by the people you photograph and by their family and friends.
If portrait photography is your calling, you are blessed with a never-ending source of fascinating subjects. In addition, you can unleash your creativity in designing sets, scouting interesting locations, and perfecting a variety of lighting techniques.
But more to your advantage is the priceless opportunity to work with people — to get to know them, to coax out the best in them, and to make images that they will enjoy for years to come.
Whether it’s a private or commercial portrait, taking the time to make a strong connection with the subject reflects in the subject’s eyes and makes a much stronger portrait. Exposure: ISO 400, f/3.2, 1/200 second.
Preparing for Portrait Photography
The goal of making a portrait is to capture the spirit of the person or people. When you capture the spirit of the person, it’s evident because the subject’s eyes are engaged, vibrant, expressive, and energetic, drawing the viewer into the image. No amount of skillful lighting, posing, or post-capture editing can substitute for this. So the first goal is ...