London Photo Festival & London Photo Gallery

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The psychology of the portrait picture

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‘Make me look like a super model!’

I provided Ingrid with an impossible task when I bravely volunteered myself for her portrait of the month project back in April. I am far more comfortable behind the camera than I am in front of it and when I was having my photograph taken by Ingrid, we tried to examine this in more detail.

Ingrid’s project has thrown up more than just thinking about the technical aspects of taking people’s portrait photographs – she has also had to think about human emotions, skin tone, location and how the subject feels about themselves.

Some people are naturally more photogenic and relaxed in front of the camera than others, but one thing that Ingrid has learnt to do is make the subject feel relaxed and she does this in one sentence: ‘pretend I am not here’ and it works!

Perhaps also as photographers, we are concentrating on the camera of the person who is taking the photograph and by this I mean: ‘why are they using the flash outdoors?’ or ‘that’s a nice camera, I want one of those’!. We are trying to analyze the nuances of the situation instead of just enjoying the moment.

Read Ingrid’s blog post: http://www.candidcreativity.com/blog/2014/6/portrait-of-the-month-june-2014

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