A portrait tells a story of an individual in some way. I have seen so many flat, dull, lifeless portraits, which has made me very aware of what it is to take a good shot. As you probably know, I was working with Rannaisance Model Agency in Moscow where I met some extraordinary models and also had the opportunity to explore an absolutely breath taking country and culture – remarkable.
breezesdld.jpg When I was in Siberia I met some incredible people and was fortunate enough to grab some special pictures.

So what makes a good portrait shot? Everybody has their own approach and, to an extent, it depend on what you’re shooting with: film, digital, medium format etc. In digital I’ll always shoot raw, and with medium format you’ll find yourself having to really work on composition as you can’t quite move around as you would with a more comfortable hand held..

Fill the frame with their life and soul. Talk to the model, get a sense of who they are and let the lense read their face with that knowledge. Don’t assume that pointing and shooting will do it because it will not. A professional portrait should emulate a person’s individuality. Use the light and set the scene in your minds eye with that knowledge. I like to walk with clients’ and shoot candids but I also like to compose a scene as they move. This brings you closer to the subject.

Portrait

Anushka, preparing before a show:
Siberia<a

There have been novels written on how to take a photograph. I don’t really subscribe to any of it beyond the moment, composition and the light. That is the photograph as far as I am concerned and it does not matter what is in your hand – without these elements the image will fail. I tend to capture alot of the subjects dynamics in my images – their personality.

Moscow, gets cold in the winter. We had a fashion shoot in ‘Red Square’ modelling a fascinating new trend for Russians – fake fur coats!! It’s quite hard shooting in freezing temperatures as not only are you and the models less than cheerful, but your fingers are numb and you are forever concerned if the camera will survive. My advice for shooting Russian models in freezing temps – use film, don’t rely on digital, and keep a bottle of vodka in your pocket .. not for you fool!!! for the girls 🙂

wintersmall.jpg

Lilia, is standing right outside Lenin’s tomb believe it or not – I used a high key set up here to make here coat dissapear into the light… and I rather like it 🙂

Photographing Prague is next year’s priority. I love photographing women, especially portraits but next year Prague will be under my lense a bit more as I’d like to capture something of theis extremely photogenic city: Prague is a photographers dream.

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