To shoot a portrait is to capture the essence of the person, the story of their life, their livelihood and a substantial emotion within the photograph.  For instance, we come across numerous faces everyday but there are some peculiar interpretations within few humans which will remain hard for us to take them apart from our memories. So what causes this deep impression within our subconscious mind to keep reverberating that particular face of the person, unforgettable and so strong.

Well the answer lies in the souls, it should be an emotion be it positive or negative but nevertheless it need to go beyond our souls to keep chanting that physical attribute on and on. In this post of ours, I have tried to give some valuable insights on capturing the soul within a portrait.

All photos are linked and lead to the sources from which they were taken. Please feel free to explore further works of these photographers on their collections or their personal sites.

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Betina



Making the model to ease at your presence and observe the person before you could point your lens. Connection is a very important word, when it comes to portrait photography. Without gaining the faith or total indulgence of the model, it is very much hard to reveal the true character of a person.

Which may thereby, result in mediocre portraits. Being polite and clear is more than being positive, making them believe their beauty within themselves can reap you splendid rewards. Praise them for their appeals and exciting makeovers, believe me nobody would shy away for what you have just said. Opening up the soul of the model you are bound to shoot just becomes much easier.

The Copse - Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Eve North

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Serge Gavrilov

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Richard Wohlfart



Emotions are everything for a portrait, making the onlooker wonder or feel for the stature of the portrait. To draw that form of emotion within your portrait takes lot of patience, practice and pure luck. Take the role of a film director, knowing what would make a magical portrait or planning the emotion of the character would deliver wonderful results.

But make sure you expect these magical moments with the right sense in due respect to the model, you are about to shoot. There are some boundaries about what we shoot and where we shoot. Emotions are the vital elements in any portrait, to kindle that within the model, to identify or discover or to insist such an emotion from the model, one need to be proactive and as discussed earlier connect well with the model.

Wing'd Cupid, Approximately - Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Wayne Mackeson

Backstage Videoclip "Don't stop" - Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: P Mod

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Yura Kurnosov


Light & Environment

The Place, Magical light and Environment around the model plays a grand role in translating the character of the subject or the much hyped soulfulness of the portrait. Where would you dream them to be, how harsh can the light be on them, can it be intense or dark. All these aesthetic attributes draws greater attention onto any portrait and thereby insists us to know much further on their story.

Curiosity prevails within the drama of light and makes us consciously know much further and deeper into the souls of these interesting models. Whereas, Environment is space it could be a wide open dreamscape of lawn or a dark room with hardly any space to move at all. But believe me, both these extremes have their word when it comes to score a soulful portrait. Making us believe, wonder or cry for the way they are, thereby creating a masterpiece with all references to soulfulness.

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Gurbir Grewal

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Alain Laboile

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Marcin Kaniewski


Looping a Silence

Just like Stories, few photographs are never finished, they continue to haunt us with their magnificence on and on. The more you stare at them the more they convey. What is that which strives us within a portrait, after all a photograph. We love silence, this is a beautiful trance for us to drive our own creative chariot with the model. Only a quarter is said through a photograph, the rest is all our own imagination out of pure silence.

Kindle our beautiful souls to add more magic and eternity to a living portrait. This silence can be very powerful, taking every possible way of converting a potential photograph into a soulful & artistic masterpiece. So how would one aim to shoot the silence? Feel the trance and beauty of the character within, admire and articulate the aura of the model.

Go with the flow of air and slowly the silence opens up for you, amidst all the chaos, it’s just you, your model and your silent heart that exists. Go ahead and produce some soulful portraits for us cherish forever.

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: DbrDbr

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Noellosvald

Capturing the Soulful Portrait
Photo Credit: Andrea Gabrieli


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