AT TIMES, THE best thing you can do to make your portraits better is to remain out of the way, observe, and grab moments with your camera covertly. This is a departure from our traditional thoughts on portraiture, where the photographer largely directs the portrait-making process, but it can be fruitful, especially for documentary-styled portraits. Of course, being a bit removed, or unobtrusive, can also strengthen other genres of portraiture. The more familiar you are with certain procedural styles, the more often you can identify where else they will be useful.

Below are tips on being unobtrusive. Some are influenced ...

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