There are a few elements that when combined, make an excellent portrait. Things such as composition, lighting, and location are essential. A big part of portraiture is also getting the person who is sitting for the picture feeling comfortable. Sometimes, it can be quite difficult. People tend to feel uncomfortable in front of a camera, including myself (I tend to prefer to be behind the camera). I was aware of this before, but it really hit home this past weekend.
My youngest sister had a school dance last Friday, so we went to the park to capture some shots beforehand. I noticed at the beginning of the photoshoot she was rather tense and not her usual self. But as we moved around, I would casually joke with her, gaining a more natural smile and sometimes allowed for impromptu shots of her laughing. As we progressed throughout the photoshoot, I noticed her smile would become a little more forced as she grew tired, and after a half an hour, I could tell it was time to call it quits.
Through this photoshoot, I learned the photographer has to make some sort of connection with the person they are working with. I may have had an easier time for this particular session because of the close connection with my sister. If it were someone I didn’t know as well, it may have been more difficult. Nevertheless, it was a fun outing that resulted in some nice pictures of my sister.