In the early part of 2019 I spent some time out in Ohio, USA with the folks at FJ Westcott to record some video content.
One of the videos I recorded was something I feel very strongly about if you’re wanting to capture an authentic portrait; the kind of portrait where folks would say “Oh that is so them” .. do you know what I mean?
Now of course I know that it’s not every shoot we get the luxury of time to sit and talk with somebody before we take their portrait so I’m talking best case scenario. However that said, being able to chat to people, get to know them and put them ease is massively important and yeah more so than using the latest this, that and the other. Photography is way more than kit, more than lenses, and more than flashes. It is about the people.
I’m totally convinced that without understanding your subject and connecting with them on a personal level, your portrait will feel somewhat lifeless. I look at my early work and see a technically good picture but no life in the subject so I now spend a significant amount of time prior to each shoot simply talking with folks and so getting to know them and understanding their boundaries.