A Portrait from your portfolio is more or less solid to determine the character and vision of you the photographer. Shooting a good portrait is no easy task for even the professionals, one may be much proficient with handling lights and composing the picture, but what strikes more in case of portraits is to capture the essence and soul of the character within and sometimes out of the odds, it just happens.
Street Photography has found its charm within our younger generation, and people are ready to experiment as well as travel for the surprises it keeps opening.
In this post, I wanted to underline some of the interesting aspects behind successfully shooting a street portrait. The stereotypes, rules, do’s, don’ts and what more. Street portraits are always a charm and surprise when you hit it right and straight.
The Right Character
Choosing the right character or the most suitable subject for a classic street portrait should be your foremost concern. What you shoot almost determines your photograph, there can be a brilliant light but let the light fall on the right subject to enhance the overall feel of the photograph. As a photographer, watch closely along the streets to determine a peculiar face or the unseen character.
Shooting a beggar or an ailing person is always going to be easy for any photographer but that doesn’t prove any cause. There is always this wonderful and significant face which would thereby stay in the memories of viewers, recognizing such a face and identifying a genuine character would prove vital for any photograph.
Vision and Discovery
Vision is simple words is knowing what to shoot, once you identify a character inside a person, there shouldn’t be a second thought towards capturing the photograph of the person. Your insight is very necessary, which would then convince, this is the right person whom I wish to portrait through my lens.
To attain this level of thought process and impact, it might take you some years of dedicated hard work and a theory designed by yourself towards your personal liking’s and regrets. But wait, how would you approach such a character for your portrait, how could one point a camera straight away at someone who is totally unknown and a perfect stranger.
Hence you found a perfect character with a specific face for your portrait, so how would you seek their approval or what are those initial steps you would rely towards capturing the portrait without losing the soul of it. This part of the article is real tricky, because this approval happens out of pure trust and behavior. One false step and all over you will lose the charm of the character, the ultimate quality you wanted to shoot would disappear in seconds.
Have a warm smile and caress them through your slow actions or subtle camera movements, this is almost parallel just like being a snake charmer, act briskly and boldly in accepting their trust or vice-verse. May sound complicated but just happens naturally and once you can do that quiet often, you are a pro.
The right mix of facial expressions, a simple action, hearty smile, a sad face or a tuning melancholy is what makes the portrait stand out and lie within our memories forever. To capture the quaint essential portrait is to capture the state of being, rather than shooting the state of action. The wonderful sense of being and the very essence of emotions through their eyes will elevate your works to an eternal stage.
You being the first admirer and appreciator of such a character, should make sure to translate the same emotions on to your photograph, so that every onlooker appreciates such a portrait and acknowledges it. Try doing this to get a personified gratefulness and immense satisfaction towards photography and you will start loving yourself.
Practice & Patience
Practice and Patience are two most important words for any photography genre and with street portraits it just gets even stiffer. Being consistent and having the flame to flow from right will reflect on your work, keep surprising yourself in every aspect of photography. We cant take the same breakfast for days then why compromise when it comes to medium of art.
Traveling and exploring should show you wonders, numerous faces, wonderful smiles and a lot of untold stories. Show them and we all are waiting, show us what you have witnessed through your scintillating photographs.
All photos are captured by Siddharthan Raman. Please check his website for more surprises.
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