Portrait photography is not easy – especially when you’re with someone who is not altogether comfortable with having their picture taken. Your awareness of light and proficiency with your camera have to be almost automatic, because the more time you spend fiddling the less time you have to engage with your subject. If you don’t engage your subject you risk losing them – and it will show in the photographs.
One of the things that strikes me most about portrait photography is that it is as much about you, the photographer, as it is about the subject. You are in charge – whether you like it or not – and you need to take control. Landscape and street photographers put themselves into situations where they are first and foremost spectators, have little influence over their subjects and are limited by only their own patience. Not so for the portrait photographers, who have to create their own situations (and often their own light as well), have the nous to nail that exposure quickly and keep a subject relaxed, comfortable and in a frame of mind to create flattering photographs.
Portrait photography is not easy. Watch the video and see how far you get before your mind starts to boggle!