‘Before the invention of photography, a painted, sculpted, or drawn portrait was the only way to record the appearance of someone’. ‘But portraits have always been more than just a record. They have been used to show the power, importance, virtue, beauty, wealth, taste, learning or other qualities of the sitter.’ – TATE MODERN
How do I approach a portraiture shoot?
Composition, placement, light, the angle of the subject in relation to the lens, these all provide different qualities and combinations to unlock what is seen to be true and developed.
In the same way there is no fixed approach towards the lens and settings on a camera. It depends on the individual and no two of us are the same. I encourage whoever i’m photographing to see and feel their true self and to feel really comfortable with that. Technically and with respect for the environment it’s the photographer’s role to view what matters, to work productively with whatever’s available, and visualize how to build these different layers in a way that tells a greater story. Sometimes images require a clarity in the background and the sharpness increases the narrative, other moments require softer intimacy.
When shooting portraiture the two priorities first and foremost to me, and it’s a balance of the two, are the setting and the light. These are the most crucial to govern along with time.
Often, simplicity yields more than an elaborate set up, ultimately it’s freedom that counts.