Pictures of ourselves



The first pictures any photographer takes are likely to be of people.When they are of family or friends,the most popular subjects,they have a personal meaning that can move us because they record our own lives.But whether the subject is familiar or not,the pictures that we turn to most often do more than simply record what people look like.Instead they reveal what is individual about the subjects,and perhaps what they are feeling.The portraits on the following pages all exhibit this special quality.

Pictures of people close to us can have a direct emotional impact because the photographer can reveal insights impossible to a casual observer,and catch moments that could never be staged.Yet strong,spontaneous pictures such as the one opposite are relatively rare.Although friends and relatives are convenient subjects,they can also be among the most difficult to photograph well.The first section that follows will suggest ways of avoiding pitfalls,so that your pictures give the impression of having been snatched from life.And it will show you how to capture candid glimpses of people in a variety of settings.

Even more challenging is a formally posed portrait,especially if it is of someone you hardly know.You must quickly establish a basic understanding of character and mutual confidence.You must decide what surroundings and lighting will suit your subject.And then you must find a pose that is telling,yet lets the subject feel at ease.The same need for consideration and control applies to nude photography.

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