What could be more fun than taking pictures of people? Lately, my photo assignments have centered on environmental and business portraits and I'm enjoying that work - because I like people. I've had to step back and think about that, because it seemed for a while I was forgetting that they are the crucial element of success in my photos.
Of course there are also technical elements to consider - are we in a studio setting, using natural light, or are there other challenges on the techical front? Is an f6.3 really the ideal portrait aperture, or can we play with that a little? And 85mm to 135mm seems to be the best focal length range . . . except when circumstances or creativity make other options seem just as viable.
It's easy to get caught up in all the elements. The fact is, they must become second nature, so we can put our attention where it needs to be - on the subject. Years of media training taught me something important: everyone looks their best when they smile. Everyone.
And so the real job of the photographer is to put the subject at ease, elicit that moment when the spirit shines through - and capture it.
Here's a photo of my husband I took recently. He was an experimental subject as I tested some new lighting paraphernalia. But in the middle of it all, I caught him laughing at me (with me!) in a way he often does, and I came away with a portrait that will be special to me for a long time.
Now that's success!