Telling Stories with Composition

Shooting families with young children? Accompanying everyone on a walk allows you to capture relaxed shots like this one, with everyone being themselves and interacting naturally. It also means you are likely to end up getting muddy… Twiggy, mud-splattered clothing is now an expected part of my appearance after an outdoor shoot. I spend a high proportion of my working day lying on my stomach, trying to get the lowest angle possible. In a portrait like this one, a low …

Searching For Giants

Making your shoots fun for your subjects is key to getting memorable portraits. This image was the final shot of the day and the result of a playful interaction. The shoot with George and his parents was over, and we were walking back to the studio. I had plenty of shots already, but then we passed a church with a huge door. An image formed in my mind. Note: to create the sense of height in the doors, I lay …

Foundations: Eye Contact

Having the subject look straight down the lens gives a feeling of direct eye contact when the image is later viewed. Just as in real life, eye contact is more arresting than a lack of eye contact – it captures your attention and is a form of communication in itself. However, it also demands more of the viewer, so a whole set of images containing eye contact can become tiring and repetitive. As with all the other elements of composition, …

Foundations: Leaving Space Around Your Subject

While filling the frame with your subject can lead to a high impact portrait – particularly if the final image will be used at a small scale – using this technique all the time leads to a selection of images that are repetitive. As with many of the rules of composition, when your images are viewed as a set, variety becomes key. Allowing space around your subject also enables you to include background or environmental details. … To get access, …