• Matthew Brooks

People Person (Part 1)

There are many different reasons that get you into photography. Landscapes, macro, architecture, etc. For a lot, it is people. Whether it is loved ones, clients who pay for portraits or strangers on the street you will never see again. What makes photographing people so interesting is that people as a subject are so diverse. Nobody is the same as anybody else. Different faces, different personalities, different stories, different style. People are relatable to viewer and to the photographer which creates a connection.

Here in Part 1 it will be a look at style and show stock examples of different styles. Then in Part 2 we will take a look back to the past and a look at the present; I will look at a few photographers that have caught my eye and who's photos captivate me. There are many famous photographers who have made their name from photographing people. Some will have shot some important world figures, leaders and celebrities. Some photographed and documented some of the most important moments in history that people have had to deal with. Some just people on the street, whether they know they are being photographed or not.

With the street photography style it could be about being quite intrusive and getting up in peoples faces and being a creeper as you pass them (not a style I agree with), however if you do check out someone like Bruce Gilden or Jeff Mermelstein. Alternatively being polite and sociable and striking up a conversation and asking if you can take their picture, this does negate spontaneity however. Or just documenting life and how people live it in the area from a far, which give you a bit more time to work on composition. A few stock examples below:

However you don't have to go for such a documentary style of photographing people on the street. It could be about putting emphasis on the composition where perhaps the person is the focal point but not necessarily the overall priority. With this style it is often slower for the photographer, taking time to nail the composition and waiting for that moment that something special happens in the frame to take it to a special picture. Like these stock examples below:

You could go down the route of working with people in a more personable manner and working with them creating a portrait of someone. Maybe this is for them personally or for commercial purposes e.g. a magazine. This could be studio based or on location. Maybe the client already has an idea which they will want you to envisage and bring to life, or they may let you run with the ideas. The possibilities are endless only your imagination will restrict you. If someone books you for say a couples shoot, engagement shoot or a wedding for instance you already have a loose brief of capturing a representation of the couple and their connection that they have. Again though you really are only limited by your imagination and type of shots the couple or client may want. Some sample stock photos:

Of course if you want to see any of my own portrait stuff then always check out my portrait gallery, which I update with new stuff every now and then and couples shoot added to it in the near future. Having a portfolio is great as it pushes you to improve. If you set yourself to say 30 pictures to display, then if you want to add a new picture then you have have to delete a picture that you feel isn't as good as the one you are adding. So it is constantly getting improved upon with better work. This is good for whatever type of photography you are into as gets you thinking of new ideas and striving to improve on previous work.

That is all for Part 1. Hopefully it has given you some ideas on some styles which incorporate people into your photos. If you already photograph people may some of these amazing stock photos have given you a little inspiration on how you can divert your style to offer something new and fresh.

As mentioned above, in Part 2 we will be looking at some truly inspirational photographers and what their work offers up.

Thanks and see you very soon.

#Style #photography #portraiture #People

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