We all know that striking portraits require more than good lighting and an interesting face you’ll photograph. You want to add life and soul of the person that you’re photographing. Marc Silber of Advancing Your Photography spoke to National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes about this topic. In this short video chat, Bob analyzes some of his own images and gives you plenty of tips for raising your own portraits on a higher level.
Bob Holmes is a travel and wine photographer, but he takes a lot of portraits for his travel stories. In the video, he points out his own mistakes by showing you his images of the same person.
First of all, remember: there’s no bad light, only inappropriate light. In other words, it can be inappropriate for certain genres and types of photos. Because of this, it’s important that you find the light that works. In other words, don’t be afraid to move the subject. Wing it, look around you and rely on what you have – you won’t always have lighting, reflectors, and scrims with you.
Other than finding the ideal light, your relationship with the subject is essential for a good portrait. Many people will freeze in front of the camera. Sometimes, you won’t share a common language. So, remember to always work with your subject to make them relaxed and comfortable, and have the patience to get the person to respond to the camera. Be prepared to open up to people, don’t be shy, and be kind to them.
Make sure to watch the entire video and check out some of Bob Holmes’ examples. It’s very pleasant to listen, it’s like a podcast, and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot, or at least get a nice reminder of things that you already know. If you ask me, that can never hurt. :)
[Portrait Photography Tips from National Geographic Photographer Bob Holmes | Advancing Your Photography]