Taking a successful portrait may seem easy to someone who has never tried it. Transforming something from the simple concept of a camera pointed at a person (or a puffin) into a story-telling captivating photo involves skill.
I used to shy away from photographing people. A landscape was much more predictable and easy to pull off. This was a rationalization I used simply because portrait photography is tough. The more I have photographed people while shooting weddings, the better I've gotten at recognizing what does and doesn't work.
Most of us, unless you're a model or an actor, have no idea how to be in front of the camera. Stiffness and fake smiles are often par for the course. This means that it is your job as the photographer to either direct their pose or attempt to take their mind off of the camera. This is all on top of getting your focus, exposure, composition, setup, and timing correct.
I was very impressed with the number of great entries this week by our readers. I think you will agree that this top ten list is one of the best so far.
9. Rand Photography
8. Fuji Traveller
7. David J. Fulde
6. David Butterell
5. David Hassler
3. Ingmar Elm
2. Ars Industria
1. Wesley Chang
The solid face illumination and posing right in the middle of this scene creates a wonderful mood that looks very genuine. There are also stories to be told in both of the subject's faces. This shot reminds me a bit of a photo from the Craigslist Encounters project by Kremer Johnson. This is, of course, is meant as a huge compliment since I'm a big fan of the series.
What Is This Week's Theme and How Do I Enter?
It is that time of year where one of the only ways to combat the heat is with water. This may be by drinking it, swimming in it, freezing it for ice, or filling water balloons like my boys did over the weekend. Some people do some cool studio work involving the clear liquid we couldn't live without, and others actually take photos from underneath the water. However you may choose to interpret it, share your best shots featuring water to help us all keep cool and hydrated in this summer heat.
To enter, simply use the hashtag #weeklyFstopWater on any public Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr post between now and our next weeklyFstop article. Please keep it to one entry per week to keep it fair and less cluttered.
Here are the previous week's results for anyone who may have missed them:
- Leading Lines
- Long Exposure
Remember, there is no guarantee posting a photo will result in it being featured. If you happened to submit but fell short, please don't be discouraged. Keep shooting and try to gain techniques or ideas from the photos that are selected. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, feel free to contribute in the comments. I'm always open to future theme suggestions. I hope you are all enjoying the theme as much as I am.