The Intimate Portrait
I just finished a fantastic workshop through Linda Rutenberg title the “Intimate Portrait” focusing on pulling out emotion and the inner beauty of your subjects. Photographing people is often a very challenging task, they could require a lot of direction, they could be very uncomfortable in front of the camera or you could get a natural and everything flows very well. All to say you need to be prepared and have a strategy in mind.
Like any photo shoot, plan out a shot list, visit the location and in the case of portraits take the time to really get to know them personally. Often we do not have much time to get to know our subjects but even one good conversation with specific questions can go a long way. For me personally, I never provide prices to any client until I’ve met or spoken to them at least once to see what they are interested in and to get a sense of their personality / style. Therefore, it’s even more important when it comes to photographing them.
One of the biggest satisfactions I had from this workshop was learning how to integrate the personality of the subjects with the environment or location to provide more context. Also on that point, my favorite shots came while I was directing the person into a particular pose or while someone else was directing them. Releasing the shutter in these moments allow you to capture more candid images and takes the pressure of the camera off the subject. Get out there, ask a lot of questions, be natural and have fun with your subjects!