Thursday, October 15, 2015

Portraiture and the Joy of Communication

Photography, rather than writing, took over for the past year. I have finally become more relaxed about taking portraits of strangers on the street and am struggling to offer to take photos of people I actually know. The pleasure of making an image that the person in question will enjoy is what spurs me on most. I like when people look themselves and are not strained so the skills of communication needed must be thought through. Many people do not actually enjoy having their photo taken. How to encourage them is my new job in hand.


David T. Macknet said...

I've found that the best way to get the shots of people genuinely smiling is to just put the camera in full auto and take about a dozen shots in a row. The first few have the stiff smile of "somebody said to smile, and I hate this, when will it be over." The next handful segue into "oh, God, what is happening, why is he taking so many pictures!" And then, finally, they break into genuine laughter, and you've got a good shot.

See and and you'll see plenty of good examples of mine. In order to get those shots, I took 5,500 pictures in one day.

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

Good advice.

Many thanks for sharing.

You have hit the nail on the head in reference to my reticence about portraiture.
I take, at most, two photos or, if I'm feeling brave, three, for fear of wearing my subject out.

Fortunately I have one friend who loves having his photo taken and who engages with full gusto in the process. I have to think this through.

David T. Macknet said...

You really do have to take lots, in order to go through the fake-smile / crazy-eyed-stare-of-disbelief / hysterical-laughter cycle. And: it's digital, so there's only your time to consider, rather than film & development.