Wednesday, 10 July 2013

how to capture the natural look

 While this image may not be the most flattering from a client point of view the picture is natural and reveals a great deal about the model. Perfectly capturing  the troubled soul of Marilyn Monroe it is poignant and a good example of how 'candid photography' can reveal the essence of the sitter.

Richard Avedon
 Capturing the natural or candid look is often a lot more skillful than people appreciate. 'Just pretend I am not here' is the same as 'Don't think of the colour red' it is very difficult to do or not to do. Rather than trying to be anonymous why not take the time to get to know your model, find out something about them and provide a bit of personal information about yourself. This empathy building will help you a great deal and like most good photographs the photographer will have a solid knowledge of their subject. Naturally professionalism will help enormously as it inspires confidence and trust so when sharing personal information it is not necessary to tell them about your affair with your partners brother/sister! You might want to use humor as a way to build a rapport but remember while 'bad jokes' show you do not take yourself to seriously stay away from the offensive and do not over do it.
Making the session enjoyable is the key, if people feel relaxed confident and happy then you are more likely to get the desired look. Once this is all in place you will then have the chance to capture those intimate moments when your subject is relaxed, off guard and ready to show you their true essence. Often a slow shutter speed allowing some movement (blurring) will help you to create a less formal image but you will have to experiment and find what works for you.

Five steps to create a more natural look in your portraits.
  1. Know you subject.
  2. Let your subject know you. (These are the empathy steps)
  3. Act professionally but do not take yourself too seriously, the ultimate test is in the images.
  4. Make the session fun. For most people having their picture made is not something they enjoy so if you can play some music and keep the people around you to a minimum. 
  5. Be ready! When all is in place there is a good chance that you will capture the look you are after.

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