Working with a lot of people on both sides of the camera to help understand portraiture is a great pleasure. The best portrait photographers prepare in advance to learn their subjects with amazing results. Street photographers take advantage of split-second opportunities and mine gold.

Which are you? Calculated or shoot from the hip? It doesn’t matter because both have their place. Here are a few ideas to apply to your portrait disciplines.

  1. What’s the point? Why do you want to capture people’s portraits? Ask yourself these questions and be prepared to respond to your own answers.
  2. Learn the fundamentals but don’t be afraid to throw those aside when you are ready to embrace your creativity.
  3. These fundamentals can be learned but eventually your talent and style will be discovered.
  4. Open your mind to experiences and take advantage of opportunities. Don’t miss out while overthinking.
  5. Your model has a personality. Learn about them to bring it out in your images. Empathize.
  6. Find a common bond between you and your model. This will encourage trust and better results.
  7. Coordinate everything. Personalities, hair, eyes, wardrobe, complexion and backdrop. Details!
  8. Focus on the eyes, but also anything remarkable. Accessories, tattoos, piercings, anything.
  9. Don’t force something that doesn’t feel natural to you or your model. It shows.
  10. Make mistakes. Make them again. Forgive and forget then grow from them. Do it your way!

Playlist: All The Pretty Faces

Location: Photo Denbow Studio


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