What makes a great photographic portrait?

Gillian fine art photo2Every photographer will struggle at some point or another to push him or herself to produce a creative outlet for their work and find inspiration beyond what they are used to

To take inspiring photographs of people, you need to be both direct and candid. It is important to get close to your subjects; standing at a distance with a long lens will rarely result in pleasing images. These kinds of shots usually look as though you’ve tried to sneak them – which, of course, you have.

Forget flashy studios and expensive props

Connecting with people, finding the right location, telling a story and getting the ideal pose to capturing emotion and arranging your subject and lighting the scene all are all key elements when it comes to really great portrait.

Have an idea of the viewpoint you intend to use whilst considering the crop on the frame can vastly change the mood feel of the picture and to create impact and mood.  Study the light on the person’s face and check where it’s coming from; this will allow you to position yourself correctly in the first instance.

Natural light is wonderful for photographing people providing soft and gentle light that eliminates shadows To get the best light aim for sunrise and sunset that are the best time of day to capture images casting warm golden glows on your subject.

Gillian Cumming of bygillian photography

“A great image comes firstly from the imagination then planning and preparation but beyond that there is an element of inspiration and creativity to be found.

A great image conveys has the element of timelessness unposed and natural almost as if the photographer has capturered her subject as if she was totally unaware of the camera being there. It’s about capturing that unique moment in time.”

Making your subject’s surroundings an integral part of a portrait photograph adds context that enables the viewer to learn something about the person. This kind of “environmental portrait” lends itself to the use of wider-angle lenses can take the landscape

The goal is to capture an essence or character of the person to tell their story by creating a unique moment in time. For anyone who wants their story to be told in a unique image you can visit Gillian Cumming of bygillianphotography.com