What do you know?

What do you know?

I have said it before, to create a great portrait you not only need to know the subject, but you also need to know the audience.  As a photographer I also need to know my trade. 

The subject:

What do you know about their physical characters? Do they have one eye that is larger than the other, or a lazy eye? Is one eye higher than the other? Is the nose or mouth crooked? 

What about their view of themselves? Why are they having this portrait done? Do they like their profile? Which side of their face do they think photographs better and why? 

The audience:

How is the portrait going to be used? Who is it ultimately for? Where will it be displayed and what is the lighting like in that area? 

See the images and story below for a fuller understanding of this.

The trade:

As a photographer you need to know your trade and how to use it. Do you understand how to accent the subjects positive features and downplay others? Can you set a mood for an image by controlling the camera angle or by setting the lighting? The perfect capture is the one that contains the maximum amount of information. Can you avoid blowing out the highlights and maintain enough detail in the shadows to fully recover what is there? 

The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print the performance.

Ansel Adams

Once you have that information how will you present it?

The following two images are identical. At least they were before the presentation. They are the same file processed for two different audiences. 

head shot


Old master portrait

The first image was processed to be a head shot in a portfolio while the second was processed to be a fine art wall portrait. The fine art portrait will be printed on textured fibre paper and finished with multiple layers of varnish to bring out all the detail and richness in the deep areas of the print. It is intended to be hung in a low light level room with and accent light on the portrait. 

If you would like to discuss your portrait needs you can begin the conversation here

The following are other posts you may find interesting on my blog:








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