What does a beautiful portrait look like and How do you capture a great portrait?

What does a beautiful portrait look like to you?

We all have different concepts of what a beautiful portrait truly means. Some say : To capture the best facial and body expression of a person. Others say : To make them look amazing or Great lighting and posing . …

Yes all that is true but the most important thing that makes a great portrait is capturing a persons true self. and shows who they are.

You see, A portrait is so many things more than just a photograph of you. It's a celebration of who you are, a discovery and a legacy.

Before I take a persons photograph , I always start with having intimate conversations with them . I study them. I really try to get to know them. Specially women. We talk about self confidence and self love. About what does being good enough mean. We talk about what beauty means to them. We talk about what part of their body they do not like or feel confident about.

When I put my camera up their inner soul comes forward. I also see everything they don't like about them self, their confidence, how they hold themselves, how they feel about their body. And that is how I capture a magical portrait. One that makes them get sparkles in their eyes seeing it.

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One of the photographers that I admire and their work inspires me is Annie Leibovitz. She is a true photographer. Her work is not about just photographing celebrities. It’s about being able to show her subjects true personality and their message.

A great portrait should contain:

1- A good portrait draws attention to the subject .When it’s done right, as soon as a viewer looks at the portrait, their eyes instantly settle on the subject instead of things behind or around the subject. This is normally done through shallow depth of field. If you’re shooting outside and you have objects in the background, you should be able to use depth of field which means focusing on the subject and making the background out of focus to draw more attention to the subject.

2- A good portrait tells you something about the subject. It shows some element of their personality or their life.

Many people think having a good camera and lens is what makes a good photograph. I have been told a couple of times : Oh your camera takes great pictures ! It’s like telling a writer your pen writes very nice!

You have to have the talent to write ! having a nice pen is not going to make you a writer and having a nice camera is not going to make you a great photographer :)

These are the 2 main important things to consider when capturing a great portrait. I hope you enjoyed and helps you taking better photographs. Please comment below or ask me any questions you have .

Much Love,

Shadi