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Expressive Portraiture

© 2009 Wazari Wazir | Portrait Photography | Expressive Portraiture

Portrait photography or portraiture is the capture by means of photography of the likeness of a person or a small group of people (a group portrait), in which the face and expression is predominant. The objective is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the subject. Like other types of portraiture, the focus of the photograph is the person’s face, although the entire body and the background may be included. A portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the camera. ( Wikipedia )

I’ve to admit that I’m not a very good portrait photographer, and I don’t claimed as an expert in portrait photography, I’m far from it, in fact I don’t want to be an expert, I just want to do what I like or love to do without any string attached. I take photograph not to please anybody as long as it is not official job which I have to pleased my department, other than that I took photograph for myself, you may like or hate my photograph, everybody have their own voice, have their own opinion and have a different way of looking at things.

Great photograph to my eyes maybe bad in your eyes, a photograph that have strong emotional impact on me maybe nothing to your eyes. A photograph that can make me cry maybe have no impact on you. A portrait of a child does not get a lot of people attention compared to a portrait of a beautiful gorgeous lady. If I want to be popular, If I want to be famous, I will choose to photograph beautiful gorgeous lady every weekend. I don’t shoot to please anybody but myself.

When I took a picture of my son, I took it with my heart, I took a photograph of my son not as a photographer but as a father. I don’t know how to explain this but if you are a father yourself, you will understand what I mean here. I don’t go for cuteness but I will go and captured my son character, his expression, his emotion, his personality. I think a great portrait photography must have one of these element.

When I shoot for a portrait usually I will go or try to capture my subject expression, his or her emotion, or I f I shoot a model ( not a professional model, just a “model” for the shoot ) usually I will try to get her character, I want my subject to be who she or he is, smiling, happy looking face is not my favorite. A lot of people talk about eye contact, but for me personally a great portrait shot is not all about eye contact. You can have great portrait shot even if the subject does not look directly into the lens, for me I will prefer “Strong Eyes Expression”, a strong look, a sharp look, a deep look in the eyes of the beholder, that’s why people say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

So the next time you try to photograph someone, try to capture her or his personality, I know is it not easy but try to make your subject relax or feel at ease where possible, focus on the eyes, the eyes should be the main attraction here, you can recompose your shot but make sure your subject eyes is sharp, for me it doesn’t matter where your subject look but just get it sharp. The eyes can say so much about the character or the personality of your subject, get it right and when you look at the photograph and it goes straight into your heart, then you will know that your portrait shot is more than just ordinary.

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shaff - 🙂

cts - i am a beginner.tq for the info.i like to take my daughter’s pic.but, she move very fast.and it is hard to focus on her eyes.

Zubye - agree. A good portraiture is not to photograph on “how they look”.. but it is to capture of “who they are”.

Nor Mamal - I really admire your point of view on this matter, it’s true like you said, that it doesn’t matter how beautiful the photos”Subject” are if there’s no expression or character inside it. This is really true indeed. And the expression of a young naive child it just pure as gold and it make a big impact on this picture. Adore 🙂

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