Capturing Personality in Portraiture

Question: What’s the difference between the generic “take your pictures in 20 minutes” portrait studio’s in every mall, and the portrait artists who make hundreds of dollars on a single portrait session?

The end goal of many generic portrait studios is to make a sale. For successful portrait artists, capturing personality is the end goal. Great portraitists know how to capture personality, and that is how they make their money. Capturing personality is an exciting challenge, but it is not impossible. All it takes is attention to detail, and genuine care about your subject as an individual.

1. Investigate
Spend some time getting to know your subject
Before every shoot, ask questions with sincere interest. Is your client dramatic, or laid back? Do they like quiet moments, or bold statements? Are they more likely to be found surfing a wave, or sitting in a library? Imagine how unprofitable it would be for you to take portraits of a book-worm in the middle of a skate park! You won’t find out about these details unless you inquire.

2. Observe
Watch your subject as you interact with them
Find out their little tendencies. Do they favor one side of their face more than another? Do they blink a lot? Do they like a serious expression more than a smile? If you can find these hidden “signatures”, you will be empowered to capture your client’s personality like no one else.

3. Engage
If you truly want to highlight your clients’ personality, you will draw them out of their skin. While you are shooting, guide them through the emotions you want to capture with your conversation. Talk to them. Laugh with them. Entertain them. People are most readily themselves with someone they can be comfortable with. Endeavor to be that person.

If you want to be a successful, high income, portrait photographer, remember that your job is to show people the way they see themselves … their personality – and in the most flattering way possible. If you capture the personality of your subjects well, they will tell their friends about you and will continue coming back to you again and again.

Join The Mailing List To Recieve Free Updates!

Back Next