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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 39. People

Photographing people is a subject that can take, and has taken, whole books. If there were three things, and only three things, I could teach about photographing people, it would be these. First, making photographs of people is not primarily a technical pursuit, but a relational one. Second, photographing people is no different than photographing everything else—a photograph of an interesting person is not the same as an interesting photograph. Third, almost everyone I know is nervous, or downright frightened, by the prospect of photographing people, and the ones who aren’t are a little weird and probably to be avoided.

Let’s go back to the first idea. The best portraiture is not done by people who are profoundly technically ...

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