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Portraiture can be approached from many different angles and also serve many purposes. These are some of the more typical types of portraits:
- Corporate (with a plain background)
- Shooting in the environment
- Creative and aspirational, images to aspire to or to inspire
- When the subject is supposedly unaware of the camera creating a reportage feel.
“I prefer to shoot with proper lighting, studio lights and sometimes will use available light to get a candid feel.”
Props can also be included in the picture to depict what the person does and who they are.
All pictures are tastefully edited to enhance the person’s natural attractive and strong features. Very few people are perfect, so I will whiten teeth, gently reduce lines on the neck and around eyes, reduce skin blemishes and sometimes even reduce sags and restore symmetry to the face and body bone structure.
When shooting a portrait which includes buildings, executive offices branding or product, care must be taken to keep the person as the main focus of the picture and use these external inclusive elements to enhance the image and not compete with the subject.
Lighting plays an important role in portraiture. For instance, I will mostly use a softer lighting for women than for men where a harder more dramatic and stronger look is required.
The starting point for most portraits is the so called “Rembrandt” lighting made famous centuries ago by the great Artist Rembrandt. The concept simulates a natural 45 degree directional “window” lighting which highlights the bone structure and three dimensionality of the subjects face.
Body language is also an important element to consider when creating the final look of the photograph which depends on the intended impression we want to depict. The old saying “the eyes are the window to the soul “is more relevant in portraiture than when it first was penned. The look in the eye of the sitter is very important in conveying the personality; be it the tender warm look of a mother, the wholesome sparkle of a youthful smile or the strong dedicated confident look of authority. This “look” must show in the eyes.