Portrait Photography Progress – What I Have Learned So Far

I will upload the photos to my sketchbook, once I have continued with the research that my tutor suggested.

It has only been three days since I made the decision to ask one person if I can take their photo each time I go out. I have managed to get out one three occasions, and have asked several people each day.

It is apparent to me that I am going out to improve my confidence with asking people if I can “take” their photo so that I can develop as a photographer. It is to improve my skills, and I did not set out with a vision of what I wanted to say with the photo – which is why I say “take” instead of “make”.

To make photographs implies one of two things two me. Either I have something that I want to say with my photography, or that I am collaborating with someone else so that I can collaborate with them, so that they can express themselves as a subject. I can see wh my tutor says that its important to ask people who you are interested in or have a connection to, or as I am learning, involved in a subject that interests me.

Even after a few days I am beginning to get a feel of what I am looking for. I connected with one woman in a cafe. It was her character. She very calmly and authoritatively diffused a situation. I spoke to her about this, and was then able to ask to take her photo. Then today I spoke with a couple who were having a drink outside of a pub. They looked so relaxed and happy, and yesterday there was a man who was vaping on his e-cig.

There is something about people who are involved in an activity, texting on their phone, talking with each other, that draws me in. Because of this I have been asking people to continue with the activity. I have then been able to photograph them during the activity and then zoom in for a facial portrait.

I do find full face portraits more challenging to take, and I think that is because I am only beginning to develop a vision about portrait photography. It certainly helps when I feel some kind of connection to the person or people, although at this stage I feel that I need to keep asking people whether there is a connection or not, and let the process unfold, and my vision/style develop in its own time. It’s not a matter of taking lots of photos and hoping that I get a couple of good ones, but it is about working with as many people as I can until I get a feel for where I want to go with portrait photography.

4 Replies to “Portrait Photography Progress – What I Have Learned So Far”

    1. Thank you, I have around three more photographers to review, andto plan exercises 2.2 and then I will develop them. The anxiety I feel is so intense, until I shoot, then once I have finished the anxiety is back.


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