Humans are social creatures. We love to reflect on ourselves and the people we cherish, and we like to have that ability whenever we please. Portrait photography is an excellent skill to cultivate for anyone with a camera - whether you're simply taking better photos of your family or want to build out your business's portrait portfolio.
Portrait photography or portraiture is simply photography of a single person or even a group of people. Portraits tend to showcase the expressions, personality and mood of the people in the images. As a general rule the focus of a portrait photograph is usually the person's face, although entire body and even a background or context can be included.
The secret to good portrait photography is getting to know your subject. Portrait photography isn’t about lighting a human head properly, getting that person to smile and then saying cheese, while at the same time taking the picture. We are all used to the above mentioned style of photography from our school days. A photographer would come in, sit us down, position us, work behind the camera for a bit and flash. It's over.
However, this by no means is portrait photography. The purpose of portrait photography is to draw someone's personality out.
A portrait is about getting to know a character and then catching them in their moment. As a photographer it's very challenging to get to know someone in such a short period of time. You'll have to ask the right questions (without prying), study your subject (without being obvious) and have the camera ready at all times in case one of these magic moments happen to pop up.
S t i l l L i f e P h o t o g r a p h y
Still life photography is a genre of photography used for the depiction of inanimate subject matter, typically a small group of objects. It is the application of photography to the still life artistic style. An example is food photography.
This genre gives the photographer more leeway in the arrangement of design elements within a composition compared to other photographic genres, such as landscape or portrait photography. Lighting and framing are important aspects of still life photography composition.
Learning how to shoot still life photos should make you start jumping up and down with joy. Why? Getting good at the various still life photography tips and techniques is the absolute fastest way to total mastery of photo techniques. You’ll get much better at seeing how light and shadow affect a photograph–how form comes into play, composition, harmony, and on and on. Texture, balance, and color interactions play big parts, too. As you get better and better at shooting great still life subjects, your other photography will improve as well. In other words, it’s not just a bowl of fruit. It’s a terrific training ground. Actually that’s why so many of history’s master artists did so many still life paintings. If you can figure out how to arrange the proverbial bowl of fruit into an interesting composition–and get comfortable doing it–you will start to recognize which shapes and colors work together. You’ll start to see what angles the light should be coming from to get the most three dimensionality. You’ll start to get a feel for which textures will make a stunning photo and which ones will turn out to be nothing but a big blah.
N u d e A r t P h o t o g r a p h y
Nude art photography has been around for a long time. It has been documented extensively along the history of human civilization. But as civilization progressed, the exponential rise in technology and communications (movies and the internet) was used very early on for fulfilling one of mankind’s base desires. This led to an explosion of lewd and erotic nude photography and videos which gave birth to the commercial industry, while darkening human sensibilities towards the very portrayal of nude images or videos and over the years we evolved into a society where public nudity is not only looked down upon, but is legally banned in many parts of the world. Wikipedia defines nude art as ‘the presentation of a nude subject wherein the subject is not merely copied from nature, but transformed by the artist into an aesthetic object, usually without significant utilitarian, commercial (advertising, illustration), or purely decorative purposes…
Mainstream Nude Photography follows exactly the same principles defined so aptly above. Led by legendary photographers like Helmut Newton, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, this style abides by a completely different standard of presentation where the nude body is photographed in a moment of natural behavior or action, either staged or real, captured forever in perfect lighting and edited to perfection using the latest in technology to ‘transform’ mere humans to gods and goddesses who are to be worshipped, admired and longed after.
Modern day mainstream nude photography can be roughly split into 4 categories. These categories do end up having quite some overlap as Art in its true sense does not ever follow clearly demarcations and ‘lanes’. That said, the primary categories we see today are: Glamour Nude Photography, Erotic Nude Photography, Fashion Nude Photography, Artistic Nude Photography.