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Portrait Tips: Take a walk

If you enjoy making pictures with people, then you should take a photowalk and make portraits on the street. There are a few good reasons to do this: Firstly, you’ll get outdoors and stretch your legs and your eyes. Just being in a bigger place for a while can be invigorating.

Also, meeting strangers and making a picture is liberating because you don’t have the pressure associated with a client. You don’t have to make a lot of pictures and finish a lot of pictures. You can just do what you do right there, and you might not even have to share the picture with your subject.

I made this picture of a sheriff’s deputy on the corner in Salt Lake City, thanked him for his service, transferred the picture from my camera to my phone and texted it to his wife all on the spot. It was a five-minute encounter and all my obligations were fulfilled. I continued on my walk.

Lumix G9Leica 42.5mm Nocticron lens, f2.0, 1/2000s, ISO 100.

Lastly, you’ll get to practice seeing and finding a decent picture on the spot. This is the most valuable. You’ll learn to see where all the light is coming from and quickly position your subject for a flattering picture. Then when you’re working with your clients you’ll be more ready to identify places and positions that will help them look great for a picture, too.

Taking a walk and making portraits wherever you are will help you make better portraits for your clients. You’ll get a break from your computer, you’ll get some time to have fun making pictures, and you’ll expand your ability to be ready in an instant. It doesn’t matter where you live. Go out and find a place with people and make some quick portraits.

Portrait Tips come out each week, and you can see them all right here.

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