Photo Friday: Portrait Photography
Shona Sanzgiri / March 5, 2016
Portrait photography looks deceptively simple: find someone with a face, really any face, and take their picture. And yet, so many things can and do go awry. Like any good looker, a great portrait contains complementary features: lighting, pose, background, expression and, last but not least, the symbiotic relationship between photographer and subject.
That final element means portrait photography is built on trust. In the best portraits we’re given the chance to gaze deeply into a person’s eyes—which often times gaze back—and that type of intimate access requires rapport.
So if you want to shoot truly timeless portrait photography, you’ll need to grasp the technical and philosophical stuff. Here’s some inspiration and how-to on Flipboard:
Portrait Photography (topic): The most memorable portrait photographs, like Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” or Diane Arbus’s “Child With Toy Hand Grenade,” defy the apparent limitations of their medium—which means, in a single frame, they can evoke a moment in time or sense of place. This topic is bursting with such examples of storytelling and portrait photography coming together as one.
The Phoblographer (publisher): There are plenty of photography websites, but many cast too wide a net. Not The Phoblographer, which specializes in lenses, lighting and street photography, placing people front and center.
Fashion Modeling (topic): Models use their bodies and faces as a kind of canvas. If you’re looking to strike a pose, this fashion modeling topic will make your head turn.
Steve McCurry (topic): Thirty years ago, National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry snapped his most iconic shot, “The Afghan Girl.” Since then, he’s been considered the master of portrait photography. Peruse this topic for his most timeless pics.
Faces (magazine): Curated by Nichelle Cole, the editor-in-chief of Italian fashion magazine ROUGH Italia, you might think this magazine would be full of nothing but glamorous faces. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, though no less stunning: these mostly black and white portraits are full of character, contrast and life.