Photography - The Importance of Portraiture

Photography isn’t something as simple as pushing a button and capturing a moment. I mean yes, that is the mechanics of it but there is so much more to it than simply pushing a button. Photography tells a story that we may not always be able to put into words. The photographs “speak” and allow us to leave a legacy.
Portrait photography is important and what we do as photographers IS definitely important. With a camera, we can bring out self-awareness. It gives us an opportunity to show people a beauty which they may have never seen or noticed before. Taking someone’s portrait can really help boost their self-confidence by showing them their beauty and truly making them feel beautiful!
The ability to do something like this can be life altering and that my friends, is something incredible. To be able to do that for a person makes you feel euphoric as a photographer. The over-all experience we provide for our clients in a photo session is just as important as the images we make for them.
Our job as portrait photographers is to take THE most beautiful image of you that you have ever seen and give you something to look back upon, something tangible that you will always have.
How many people can say in their job they get the opportunity to alter someone’s attitude or view of themselves, to make someone feel something they have never felt before?
When you put all this into perspective, it’s easy to see why photographs are so vital! Not only to document what is happening or transpiring but also to show people the real beauty that exists within all of us but somehow not always able to see. Nothing can be more rewarding that to help someone see themselves in the way that makes them feel proud and that is beautiful to me.

Portraits - Non-Photogenic People

Let’s be honest for a moment here when speaking about portraiture in reference to our craft from our side of the camera. I think I can speak for most photographers when I say that at some point in our careers we have come across some people who, to put it bluntly, just aren’t photogenic.

That’s not to say they aren’t good looking people, it’s just they don’t look good in photographs. They just are NOT photogenic. There are also people who don’t look the greatest in person but happen to look great in photographs. Perhaps even more so once we photographers have injected our magic touch into the image.

When we happen to come across these non-photogenic types in our work, we still have a job to do. We can’t say to the client, sorry you just aren’t going to look good in this photograph no matter what I do. We still have a job to do and the job is to capture a great image of this person and make them feel good about themselves during the process. We want them to be pleased when they see the final product. How do we go about it in difficult situations such as these?

What I tend to do is speak to the client as I am working with them. Help them to loosen up and feel comfortable in front of the camera, provide encouragement and direct them in terms of posing. Looking at it from their point of view, it’s uncomfortable for most people being in front of a camera so do all you can to make it easier for them and give them a boost of confidence. Secondly, use the tools you have at your disposal such as lighting. When it comes to posing your subject, use your experience in this area and of course your expertise behind the camera. Finally, use your post production tools, your editing program(s) of choice to ensure an esthetically pleasing end product for your client.

When all is said and done, as photographers the responsibility is ours to make the entire process an enjoyable one from start to finish for the client and of course yourself. If you aren’t pleased at any point during the process it will definitely show through in your work.

Image courtesy of www.zazzle.com