I was shooting portraits for a client from Dubai recently and he told me something that really got me thinking. A Japanese photographer whom he had hired before me told him that he was difficult to photograph because he was not photogenic. I mean, what the fuck!? I was so mad when I heard that, not just because it was a load of old shit, but Anique is actually a good looking bloke. But let's break it down. First, portrait photography is all about three things: 1 - light, 2 - body language, and 3 - connection. One can be most adapt with technicalities of photography, but if a photographer is not in love with light and what it can do then it is just a person holding a camera trying to win a lotto. That is as far from knowing what to do as one can get. Secondly, if a photographer does not understand and appreciate human body language in the smallest details then portrait photography will not happen. Forget about it. The synergy between those two elements is essential and ultimate not must-know but must-feel to be successful in the art of portrait photography.
Lastly, the connection. Portrait photography is like having a chat wit a really good friend. You have to be able to get into your model's private zone in first few moments, crush any ice. You are not taking pictures of their face, but their character and personality. You have to adjust like water and embrace their way of being. Then, imbue it with your own personal style when taking photos.
We took so many good shots with Anique that I had problems with choosing the best ones. He was so easy to photograph, very laid back, calm, and basically all tension from being in front of the lens was gone in 60 seconds (despite of what he was told by that sorry excuse-making cunt). So thinking back let me tell you this, photography is gear dependent as hell (and do not let the elitist retards and purists tell you otherwise) but you will never be able to take great shots without falling in love with light, learning how to see and appreciate human body language and march through private zones like Nazi Germany swiped through Poland in 1939. And if you dare to call yourself a professional then behave like one. I don't barricade behind excuses, I find solutions, and I shoot as long as it takes to get good images. I would be ashamed if I had to send bad photos to anyone. It matters not if it is a paid shoot or not (TFP), it is all about how much you care about your work and how passionate you are about it.
Contact me directly for one-to-one online photoshop tutorials via desktop sharing.
Portrait photography service, Tokyo - website
Photography workshops in Tokyo: http://www.ryuurui.com/photography-workshops.html
Hire a photographer in Tokyo: http://www.ryuurui.com/hire-a-photographer-in-tokyo.html
Photo blog: http://www.japan-in-photography.com/
For more tutorials and how to videos check out my photoshop and photography tips and tricks YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEOVGZ2rpLhR7gSPvaexxxQ
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙)