Portraits come from you and the sitter

How do you feel when you do a portrait?

Most of us probably feel a little nervous. Portraits are quite personal things and it’s important to get them right. So how do you build your relationship with the person in front of you?

I admit that when I do a portrait a little nervousness creeps in. It tones up the senses. Normally doing a portrait is a quick activity. I have rarely spent more than 30 minutes doing one and most times quite a lot quicker. In that short time you have to assess the person, know their mood. You need to build a little rapport and understand them enough to capture their essence. Its quite a tall order. Yet photographers manage to do a great job on a regular basis.

As a way of keeping my approach fresh I like to hear how other photographers approach their portraits. In this video acclaimed American portrait photographer talks about his approach. He gives us lots of useful insights. One of these is that every portrait is at least a little bit a self portrait – the photographer puts a little of themselves into the shot. Hmmm! Some interesting stuff here. Oh, there is also some superb lighting and photography too. Enjoy!

A few minutes with Gregory Heisler… from Stumptown Visuals on Vimeo.

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