Creating Creative Portraits By Dragging The Shutter And Adding Movement

Creating Creative Portraits By Dragging The Shutter And Adding Movement

As photographers, we usually use two different techniques to capture our images: The first is freezing the moment and capturing the split second we are witnessing. The other option is using a long exposure, to show movement, changes, or show things we don't normally see with our eyes. But what if you combined these two concepts - freezing a moment while adding movement? Check out these creative and unique portraits using this technique.

The trick is simple: Set the camera to shoot long exposure, fire your flash, and tell your model to move right after the flash has fired (or move before the flash fires if you set the flash to 'rear'). To make it work, you have to be sure you have some ambient light available on location, otherwise the movement won't be noticeable in the final result.

Another option is to tell your model to stay still, and after the flash fires, you can move your camera from side to side or zoom in. This will give you different yet still awesome results.

Have you captured similar images taken with that technique? Feel free to share the results in the comments or on our Facebook Group.

Photo: Alexey & Julia.

Good morning America
Photo: A.J. Coley.

Staring At The Void
Photo: Jeremy Blanchard.

Jess [Explored]
Photo: Eric Kirk.

No One Can Hear Your Scream
Photo: Petri Damstén.

Blurred emotion.
Photo: Chris Lambeth.

Day 331 of 365 - To Meet In Nightly Dreams...
Photo: Andrew Kufahl.

The Wizard
Photo: Sean McGrath.

Photo: Kelly Hofer.

The Woods, Canada.
Photo: Flash Parker.

Blurred emotion.
Photo: Chris Lambeth.

Jonathan Morton, Scottish Ensemble
Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan .

Day 328 of 365 - Let's End This Shit
Photo: Andrew Kufahl.

Little Fire
Photo: Alexey & Julia.

Noam Galai's picture

Noam Galai is a Senior Fstoppers Staff Writer and NYC Celebrity / Entertainment photographer. Noam's work appears on publications such as Time Magazine, New York Times, People Magazine, Vogue and Us Weekly on a daily basis.

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I"ve tried something like this too.

What do you think?

Best regards,


Very fun technique :) I played a bit like this:

Basically what Phlearn covered back in December... and the photographer whose photo is used as the main image for this article pretty much just emulated the image that Aaron produced

here is one that i did.

here is one that i did.

All done IN CAMERA with an 8 second shutter speed. Einstein modeling light camera left geld red in a large Octa with grid. Einstein strobe in beauty dish with grid cemera right and hotshoe flash as rim light geld with full CTO. triggered with Cyber Cyncs

really awesome!!

amazing shots, love the art.. had tried something similar sometime back...



This is multi exposure, multi light setup. Only cropped in post rest is SOOC.