Today I want to introduce you to a part of me that I have been cultivating for a while and that I am ready to make public: Portrait photography and specifically for this article my being a I photograph portraits of women.
I said specifically, because being a portrait photographer is very generic, since portraits can be of various kinds.
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Portrait photographer, where to start
Portrait photographer , because in a way it is one of the first things an aspiring photographer starts doing when she picks up the camera for the first time. You start by photographing your loved ones, your friends. People with whom we know we can dare without fear, people who make us feel safe.
I have been teaching photography for a few years and almost always when I ask aspiring photographers what kind of photography they intend to specialize in, almost everyone tells me: I want to become a portrait photographer, or I like portraits.
The reason we have described above, but we must be clear, the portrait photography , it’s not an easy photograph, you have to expose yourself a lot, you have to give to have.
The sense of a portrait photo
When we photograph our loved ones, we don’t have the problem of having to please a client and almost always at the beginning, we photograph without taking into account any photographic rules. My advice is to first acquire the basic knowledge of photography, perhaps by attending a Digital Photography Course , because let’s face it, we all think we can pick up a camera or a smartphone and then be good photographers. But unfortunately it is not.
Photography is an art that must be studied and cultivated and portrait photography Rome or anywhere else is no exception. Only after acquiring the photographic bases necessary you can think of approaching portrait photography, which I repeat is one of the most beautiful specializations of photography itself, but also one of the most difficult.
The meaning of a portrait cannot be enclosed with a single thought or a single intention. A portrait can represent one or more things at the same time, even if we are photographing the face of a person, because the portrait contains, in addition to the person himself, also the intention and vision of the photographer, which can sometimes be completely different from what the photographed person normally transmits and distorts the normal message itself. I’ll explain…
The intention of a portrait photographer
As said previously, the photos portrayed can be of different nature . You can take pictures for pleasure, for example for your particular photographic project or for a job order. The two are very different, believe me. You may need to photograph a freelancer who needs a photo for their social profiles , or a friend of yours aspiring model which needs a Photo book , or make one particular photo for an actor who wants to represent the character of a character he is playing, or a photo portrait for family or one portrait photo for family .
Stopping only on these very first examples, I can assure you that each of the clients listed above could be represented in a myriad of variations that would amplify the many facets of their character. A portrait photographer can photograph the same person, in many different ways, making them appear in a thousand different ways, it depends on the intention of the photographer , which, however, must also take into account the customer expectations .
So how can we get the job done? Well, in the meantime we need to understand what kind of order has been accepted. In the sense that if a manager comes to you who needs the photo for his social profiles, certainly I will not photograph him dressed as an indigenous! We will deepen with other articles and slowly all the points necessary to get to satisfy the customer and at the same time ourselves. But now let’s talk about one of the most popular and popular portrait photography specializations.
Women’s Portrait Photographer, why?
No portrait photographer has started his education without having photographed a woman . Even a woman photographer, she will almost certainly have started to approach portrait photography, photographing a woman. Do not think that it is only a male prerogative, you would fall into error. Because?
Well, even here, we could argue for hours, in my opinion … Perhaps it is because the natural harmony of a female figure, usually combined with one natural predisposition to appear , makes us perceive the woman as a simpler subject with which to reach a satisfactory result .
Perhaps it is a preconception inherited from the numerous works of art that have shaped our vision of beauty from the past. The fact is, however, that statistically, women are the favorite subjects of portrait photographers all over the world .
Thanks to this, however, nowadays it is difficult to amaze with a portrait of a woman, if not for the natural beauty of the model or of the person himself. So how do you try to create a portrait photo that causes a sensation? First of all, let’s take it for granted that the technical part concerning photography and light has been applied correctly and that therefore in didactic terms, the photo is exposed and framed well.
Now the other part remains, the most important and difficult part to obtain, the connection between photographer and person portrayed which allows the photographer to be able to guide the person photographed in the correct way to obtain a photo that tends towards the particular, trying to capture the soul, the essence of the person himself.
Having achieved this very difficult goal, then you have to understand (based on the wish of the person photographed) the intended use fixed for the photo portrait and try to center the client’s order or the photographer’s intention. My advice, if you can, is to start photographing a friend of yours who is particularly photogenic and well disposed towards photography or alternatively with an aspiring model. Often you can exchange the service with the performance of the model herself, who will use your photos for her portfolio, don’t be afraid to ask her.
At the beginning, it is not easy to think about the technical part, the light, the framing and at the same time the artistic and pose direction towards the model herself. If you can involve someone who knows how to pose in your portrait, you will have already achieved a good part of the success.
My photographic portraits
As for me, the part of portrait photography that I want to face in this part of my existence is that creative , particular , what today, even if sometimes improperly, is called the FineArt portrait, however, applying it not only to personal portraits but also to corporate portrait photography , of branding , family, etc.
There are a lot of good photographers who deal with portraits in a classical way and the competition, even at the price level, is very high. But this is normal in photography, you will have to deal with it immediately. The more you have a vision of yours, the more you will be able to stand out from the crowd and the more likely you will be to turn it into a job.
But believe me, hard days await you … I compare the portraitist to a painter … Think about the possibilities of living on this alone. It will take time, perseverance, skill and luck.
If you need advice or insights, do not hesitate to write to me, I will be happy to be able to give you some of my personal advice, hoping to be able to help you in this splendid journey in the world of photography.
My name is Francesco Russotto and I have always been involved in photography and image.
I am a professional, award-winning photographer based in Rome, but working wherever you need it. Selected among the top 10 best Italian wedding photographers in reportage style in 2020 are also Portrait Photographer for men, women, professionals, companies, families and children. I always try to make particular and insert creativity into each of my shots.
Why not combine beauty with detail? I create personal or group photography courses and workshops for different types of clients, from amateurs to professionals. If you need information, in a completely informal and without obligation, please ask.