People Photography Made Simple

One of the great things about taking photos of people is their every-changing expressions, moods, and look in their eyes. When taking photos of people, you can have several opportunities at once. If you sat in a room with someone for an hour, how many different photos do you think you could get? Even just a slight turn of the head, an unexpected smile or a pensive look, will each give you a great photo subject. Ask your self, what is typical of this person? The way they move? Their gestures and their facial expressions?

The most wonderful thing about ‘people photography’ with a digital is that you can see what the picture of that person is like on the LCD even before you take it! You can position the light in the way you want it, take the picture and if it still isn’t right you can take another one until you are satisfied with the lighting. You can even do a few in black and white, a few in sepia and a few in colours, change the ISO as you go and generally have a fabulous time. Or you can just delete it there and then. You can try all this, plus shoot them at different angles, and everything between. And if you have colour filters…..well, you are only limited by your imagination.

It is always great taking photos of friends using your digital camera, because you can always show them the shots you have taken instantly. Of course they do always want to see the shots immediately. I tell them to wait, because it slows the creative process for me the photographer and it will make them too self conscious, when the best shots are natural and relaxed.

So in order to take great shots of people, you have to be artistic and natural, which is a combination of a good artistic eye, confidence in camera handling and usage, and confidence in your own ability. And attending to the technical aspects, as well, which is understanding composition and good lighting.

Taking good photos of people requires a good amount of pre-emption. You see a good photo of someone relies on their natural goodness to shine through. In order to do this, as a photographer, you need to be able to either bring this out or capture it. The best thing to do is pretend as if you were a fly on the wall and pretend that they can’t see you if you are in a social situation. I have been asked to be the photographer at many social occasions because my own style of photography for people is candid. Candid is better. And when people see me and the camera and put on a posed, unnatural shot I simply turn away politely and wait until they are smiling and laughing and go back quickly and take the shot. They usually say “But I wasn’t ready!” And my reply is “exactly!”

If you are in this situation of a social environment like a dinner or a party, and you want good natural shots of people, then the first thing to do is watch people for a while. When you watch people you can then establish the relationships they have, who they naturally levitate to and how they settle into a conversation. Once you have seen this, then you can mentally assess when the best time to take the picture will be. What you are doing is getting a feel for what the emotions and energy of the people is like. The energy of the people will determine your photograph.

Best wishes,
Amy Renfrey

Photographing Portraits of People – Photography Tips

So you have a great digital camera and you’re tired of shooting landscapes and sunsets. Now you want to move onto faces and personalities. Good for you! It’s probably the most rewarding subject matter to photograph. And it’s my favorite.

To capture a portrait of someone – to truly capture their personality, isn’t easy. You need to learn some basic posing techniques and you really need to know your camera. Know your camera so you don’t need to be so focused on the technical, but more on the connection between you and your portrait subject.

Now that you’ve decided to explore portraiture, you need to understand the responsibility of a portrait. Being photographed is a very vulnerable experience. We’ve all seen horrible pictures of ourselves, and over time it can make some people feel less of themselves and think they are not ‘photogenic’. When really they have just likely been poorly photographed.

First things first! Make your subject feel comfortable. Find out something about them, ask them questions. Asking about kids or family almost always puts a subject at ease. When you get them thinking about themselves and your questions, they stop thinking about being nervous. And when someone isn’t nervous, you can capture more of their true personality.

I know what you’re thinking. Talking and asking questions is easy, but how do I pose them? My advise is to start simple. Just concentrate of their face. Less to shoot is less to worry about, for both of you. Experiment with head tilt or angle of their face. But always keep their movements small and subtle. And try and get your camera at their eye level. Also find a comfortable distance to them. Close enough to connect, but not too close to intimidate them with your equipment.

Once you feel like you have some nice face shots, then try moving a little further away. See more of their body. Try having them fold their arms, or have them lean against a tree or a wall. People need to feel like they have some safety or an anchor.

The important thing to remember, is to have fun and keep the experience simple and unintimidating for your subject. For more simple tips on posing people for portraits visit this informative site!

How to Take Great Photos of Barcelona, Spain and Choose a Barcelona Photography Course

Barcelona is known as one of the most creative Cities in Europe to visit and live in. There is a compelling blend of ancient (Barcino was the Roman City upon which Barcelona is built) and modern (Barcelona is an important place for tech start ups and Spanish internet entrepreneurs).

Barcelona is also great for photographers and photography. The Barri Gotico (Catalan for Gothic Quarter) is a beautiful mix of narrow streets and unique shops. Because the bright Spanish sun reflects off the warm coloured buildings, the light in the shade in the ‘Calles’ is warmer than other Cities like London; giving a summery feel to photos of Barcelona made there.

Most visitors and tourists will become familiar with La Rambla or ‘the Ramblas’. It’s an old street that joins Placa de Catalunya with the sea (well, the port…). It isn’t a particularly nice place, having been spoiled by rampant tourism and the petty crime that follows.

However, smart photographers will want to check out the ancient Mercat de la Boqueria (the Boqueria Market) half-way up La Rambla. There is a vast array of food on display, and it makes for some of the best photographs in the City.

It is advisable to hire a professional Barcelona private photography guide instead of attending a tour if you want to get the most out of the Market’s varied photographic opportunities. A photography tour guide will usually have too many people to look after his students there.

A photography tour of Barcelona usually includes a visit to the Catedral de Seu (the Barcelona Cathedral) and perhaps the Passeig de Gracia (the best shopping in Barcelona).

Few photography tours visit the peaceful Placa de Felip Neri and most tourists miss this enchanting place. The Placa Sant Felip Neri was featured in an Evanescence video and the excellent art-film Vicky Cristina Barcelona movie.

Barcelona photography courses give visitors the chance to experience Barcelona through the eyes of a resident Barcelona photographer; learning to See, as well as seeing sites that most visitors will miss out on.

Photography classes in Barcelona can also cover everything from people photography in the Raval, to Street photography in the trendy Born area or even Landscape photography in Montjuic or even further afield at Montserrat with private photography tuition.

Barcelona also has several excellent parks, chief among them is the Parc de la Ciutadella near the Port Vell and Barceloneta beach. The W Hotel is one of the coolest of the many hotels in Barcelona, and the park is an easy walk from the hotel.

Those looking to hire a professional photography guide in Barcelona should look on Google for the best options among those offering Barcelona photography courses. Often, the advice given will improve your photography far more than the beautiful location; ensuring an investment is not only fun, but pays dividends even after you have to leave Barcelona.