Portrait photography is one of my favorite types of photography; I think its because I have always loved studying artist pantings and how some of these incredible artists captured the light but mainly (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood) captured the person, their inner soul in oil.
I remember a few years ago, we went on a holiday to Crete and my wife had her portrait sketched by a young guy and it was incredible how he captured my wife's personality perfectly, the detail was perfect, he caught on canvas the smile and look that I knew so well and only someone truly skilled could see.
Photography is all about seeing the person as they truly are, it involves not just looking but really seeing that person through the lens of the camera.
To be a real artist with the camera, you have to study the person in an instant and help the camera create the image that you see in front of your eyes, it quite often requires you moving to maybe a different side of the shot or helping the subject look in another direction.
Many people say they hate having their photograph taken because they feel they never look good in photographs, (I must admit I'm the same) but this is due to people not capturing the personality of that individual and not studying the person before firing the shutter.
I recently took some photographs of this beautiful Bride (Jessica) and I found it incredible how she would look so different depending on where I stood to take the photo (Images shown here) this is so true when taking portrait photos or wedding photographs.
So many of my Brides say how they have never had such amazing photos taken of them, one such Bride said “I cant believe its me, I look lovely” this is down to composure, looking for the light and being a part of the photograph before you fire the shutter.
So learn to look and not just see and you will find that you too can capture the real person in the portrait.