All styling choices need strength of purpose. That is to say, every visual component in the frame should be considered. This is not saying to ignore spontaneity; it is quite the contrary. Having styling elements in place first allows for more creative spontaneity without stressing over small details that could be sorted out before you click the shutter. Whether you choose sleekness or grit, low or high key, a stronger image is one with cohesion—stronger together. This cohesion does not happen by accident. It occurs through deliberation and (often) collaboration.

By now I may seem like a broken record, but I cannot stress this enough: know the purpose of the shot. In a dramatic portrait, we are portraying the subject ...

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