Dramatic Insights: Capturing Humanity
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By Squirrelflight-77   |   
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This issue is all about photographing People with tips and helpful advice from some our top members!!  

:bulletorange::bulletorange:   Wanted: Macros and Close Up Shots!!!  Our next edition of Dramatic Insights will focus on Macro and Close Up Photography!  If you would like your work to be considered for this exciting article just comment on the current blog at Dramatic-Photography  :bulletorange:


Dramatic-Photography was created to showcase high quality photography with a special flare for the dramatic!  We have a lot to offer talented photographers including the opportunity to be a Featured Artist in an issue of Dramatic Insights, Daily front page features, Weekly Member Features, Valuable Exposure and our upcoming Dramatic Photographer of the Year Competition where one photographer will win BIG.  

:star:  Dramatic Insights is a bi-weekly publication featuring Dramatic-Photography members selected work along with insights into their world behind the camera.  ;)


Special thanks to our Featured Artists in this Edition:  

:iconptollemy: :iconsquirrelflight-77: :icondeathface-999: :iconpensive-painter: :iconmariangutu: :iconlecleurcircus: :iconhaidoz: :icons27w: :iconladycarnal: :iconrubymj: :icontopo1958: :iconsviru:



Here are my three "tips" for photographing people. :D:camera:

1. If someone feels uncomfortable in front on the lens, they will look uncomfortable in the image. Do your best to put your subject at ease.

2. Getting your subject to think about the time they strongly felt the emotion you want them to show often helps a lot.

3. Always be ready to click the shutter. Sometimes the moment arrives when you list expect it. In the image below [left] the model sat down to put on her very high heels. A great moment, unplanned. :)

:thumb85346977: :thumb169141716: :thumb142882333: :thumb155824309: :thumb136041123:


Photographing children can be easy and rewarding.

- Be prepared.. for anything.  Have a basic plan but remain flexible. The best shots of children are when they are relaxed and happy.  
- Keep it short and to the point. Children will lose patience with you very quickly if you are fussing over posing, fiddling with settings, or trying 35 different locations.  Trust me, I know this from experience.  :nana:
- Have fun!  Encourage them to make funny faces, come up with their own poses and be silly. That is where the great photos really are hiding! In the fun places!

Jordan's Stage I by Squirrelflight-77 Freedom by Squirrelflight-77 Joy by Squirrelflight-77 Childish Moments by Squirrelflight-77 Sugar and Spice by Squirrelflight-77


While I’m not much of a studio-portraiture person, I do shoot a fair amount of documentary photography and plan to use my experience in the future professionally. Here are some of the things I have learned…

1) Find a suitable subject. For documentary photography, such as I do, I mostly shoot volunteer organizations, mainly my local volunteer bush-fire brigade, and more recently the local volunteer tourist railway, both of which I actively volunteer with. Organizations like these are often more than willing to let you photograph them if you let them get to know you and your intentions, and could see this as an opportunity for added publicity in the wider community.

2) Get involved. Get to know your subjects, and incorporate your photography into their activities. This will more often than not involve you participating in their activities, which I highly recommend as it gives both you and your subject’s common ground, and your subjects will generally be much more willing to help a photographer who shows a genuine interest in their activities. I got up at 1.30 am to help out (and shoot) my local tourist railway steaming up their locomotives for the day’s service, and they were happy for me to photograph them having noted my willingness to work as long and hard as they do. I also learned how to prepare a 100-ton steam locomotive for active service =P.

3) Plan for the future. If it’s your first time shooting under certain conditions, don’t expect to produce your best work this time. Instead, spend your first time getting used to the lighting conditions and your subjects using your standard working kit, and then prepare to produce the killer shots on subsequent shoots. Informing the people you worked with that you want to come back and do it again may help keep them interested. Bring small prints with you the second time to show the fruits of your combined efforts.

On that note, some organizations might expect something in return for giving you the privilege to shoot them. Prints, or more often digital copies of your work for them to use for promotional material are, in my opinion, a small price to pay for the continued right to photograph them, so consider this long and hard before you say no. Be very clear about your rights to the photographs, and make sure you know exactly what your work will be used for before you hand it over. But, it could be a golden opportunity to get your work out into the public eye.

Burn VI by Deathface-999 Manjadel 2010 X by Deathface-999 Manjadel 2010 XI by Deathface-999 Burn VIII by Deathface-999 Burn XI by Deathface-999


1) Give compliments and make them feel good about themselves.
2) Be open to spontaneity.
3) Always shoot someone more then once. After they see how you see them they are more comfortable the second time around and you get better images.

Ever So Softly by pensive-painter Ruby View by pensive-painter Reminisce by pensive-painter Golden Eyes by pensive-painter



There are many ways of capturing a portrait and many ways of getting good technical results. The rule #1 in portrait photography is "there is no rule". However, in my opinion most appealing portraits are getting "the moment". Get the eyes into the shot and tell a story! You can achieve that by having your subject focus his attention on something outside the field of view of your camera. Alternatively you could have your subject looking at something (or someone) within the frame.

The second most important thing in portrait photography is the light. If you want to get good portraits you should start learning how to use the light in your subject advantage. Get your flash(es) off the camera and start experimenting. Most used lighting setup in portraits are Rembrandt and butterfly lighting (google it) but there are off course many other ways of achieving great results. Be as creative as you can with the lightning when shooting portraits otherwise you'll be producing predictable images. Alter the light and soften it by using an umbrella or a soft-box; this will create a more subtle and flattering portraits.

And last but not least, the pose. The way your subjects pose for the camera is an essential part in your photo as their body language, using the natural curves and the limbs, conveys their mood and character. The way the feet are posed will give balance, the hands will bring animation and the head will provide expression.
Introducing a prop of some kind into your shots will create another point of interest that can enhance your shot. Simply by tilting your camera you can inject a little fun into your images.

So there you have it. Basically there are limitless ways to add variety to your portraits, it's all on your inspiration.

Zimisele by MarianGutu Snufftaking by MarianGutu worried by MarianGutu Thumb up by MarianGutu Maia by MarianGutu


1. Think about creativity! Simple portraits with nice bokeh and a pretty girl are nice, but they won't stay in people's minds.
2. Break any rules of photographing to get what you want, what you see and what you feel.
3. Get inspiration from others works but never copy them, do your own and do it perfectly.



There are couple things that become my consideration when I want to create portrait photography. Here are few of them:

1. Know your subject.
Never force your model to express something that they feel uncomfortable with. Talk to them while you shoot their picture. Get to know more about them. Have a silly jokes with them. That way you know whether they feel comfortable or not. Great portrait pictures come from natural expressions and mood.

2. Know yourself.
Don't explore yourself too much in front of your model. Keep that itchy thoughts about creating something that still abstractly build in your head. Better imagine what you’re going to make in your head before you hold your camera in front of your subject. Therefore, your model won't think you are an amateur for asking yourself too much about what you gonna do next. Thus you won't loose their mood by doing so.

3. Know your toys.
It doesn't matter what gear you're using to shoot a portraiture works. Heavy gears only make your life easier, not getting the job fabulously done. What you need to have is a good knowledge about how to maximize your camera, lens, lighting and all. Always RTFM! You'll be surprised what your old camera can do once you’ve done it all. But.. cameras are like guns. All were made to "kill", but it's really difficult "to kill a dinosaur with a handgun", while it feels ridiculous "to gun down a duck with a rocket launcher". Use heavier gears when you should. Love your "cheapo" toys while it still rocks your work.

High Pitch by haidoz Imaginary Music by haidoz moving into another summer.. by haidoz new york i'm home by haidoz portraiture for the scenery by haidoz


1. You must be a little bit in love with your model at the time of shooting.

2. You should be in the proper mood for taking a picture. You should be sure that the model is open to you – in order to catch the right moment of model's emotions, expression of the eyes or a smile.

3. You should feel your camera, and you should understand the purpose for which you do it.

kissiki by s27w Virginy by s27w Billy 03 by s27w about:blank II by s27w Behind your eyes by s27w


My tips

Talk the model about your photo plans so she can prepare with make up, dress and accessories for it. It’s good to know how she would like to see herself and how she wouldn’t. Choose lighting and a background that fits to the model’s character, face, hair, dress and the style of the planned shot.

When you take shots:
Be patient and wait for the good moment when your model starts to behave naturally. Contact and talk to the model during the session and always be positive. Show the photos that you taken. It’s good for you because she can see her face and often can change her expression without you telling the problem. Portrait is about the face of your model, you need to accent her characteristic and attractive features and show her eyes. If it’s possible, use more than one light to avoid „flat” shots. The main light will gives the characteristic of your shot but the fill light, the hair and the background light will gives more dimensions.

Take more shots and choose the best one from the set up to show where all is ok, the lighting, the model’s face expression, her hair, the pose. Afterwork is a good way for your models to be like on her best day.
If this wasn’t an ordered work send the photos to your model at least in digital version to thank you her work.
Practice, enjoy your work, always try to improve and be proud of it!

Attila by LadyCarnal:thumb183797847: Seduction by LadyCarnal D.O.R.A. by LadyCarnal Out of the dark by LadyCarnal



Here we go!
My tips are just some things I’ve picked up! They are all just reminders on how to come closer to the perfect picture :)

Tip one: Make sure the model is comfortable. Turn on some music of the person’s liking (asking is better than guessing) Talk about your ideas and what you expect out of the shoot. It is easier to take pictures of a person that is in a comfortable environment, this is something that will show on pictures.

Tip two: Lighting is half of the picture. Make sure you learn the rules before you break them. Good lighting is crucial to a great shot! For the budget photographer, you do not have to spend loads on studio equipment. There are LOADS of hobby solutions that can give you great results! Learn the kelvins and use them wisely to get the right atmosphere.

Tip three: Composition - As above, know the rules before you break them. Art by accident is cool, but is not impressive when you are showing off to friends/customers/colleagues and you can’t explain how you got the results. Read books, go to the libraries and read on the internet. Many good guides and books on composition are out there. Know why you highlight certain areas; know how to work with perspectives and angles. Never go home with a set of pictures with all the same perspective. Variety is the key!

:thumb182852150:  :thumb182561720: :thumb182622536: :thumb182615984: :thumb182617000:


Since I am not professional I can not invest in hiring the services of models. So most of my photos of people are made of friends or on the street. In any case, my tips are simple:

Respect for the person you are photographing. Follow your common sense and your code of ethics. You don't know them, but you must respect them.

Merge with the environment, do not attract attention, and let things happen without interfering.

Tune with the wave of the person you're photographing, feel their energy, try to get you under their skin.

:thumb172023051: Silvia by Topo1958 Personajes de la Alameda by Topo1958 Dibujando a Mickey Mouse by Topo1958 Encounters with China 112 b by Topo1958



My three tips:

1. If you act in the studio, try to work with only one light, effects can be truly amazing.
2. Try to catch the moment, the unique look of the people photographed, and then the recipient will feel the photograph.
3. Practice all the time with the light, think creatively and boldly accept criticism from others, if you know what mistakes you me, you will learn much easier, do not try to copy others, but let them inspire you to create your own designs.
During the processing of the image it’s worth the time to play with colors, sometimes they give a very nice fairytale climate.

Karolcia II by SViRU Agata II by SViRU Karolcia by SViRU Sylwia by SViRU Ola III by SViRU

:star: Special Features :star:

so addicted to you... by LabileSoul sunshine in the air. by LabileSoul Gypsy Dancer 2 by KeldBach Dexter Gordon in Concert by KeldBach Love :D by The-Aislinn Contemplating Revenge B_n_W by ladyred200141 Her Mother's Eyes by ladyred200141 Spoiled Kid by ayashige Peaceful - Angel Sanctuary by ayashige Emily by o0WdA0oMinako :thumb154030656: Red smile by michelecannone Female anger and revenge by michelecannone The Purple Jumpsuit by evidenceofunderstood :thumb162112657: :thumb165273531: Returning... by JACAC The dignity... by JACAC :thumb182488402: :thumb183610959: Julia 3 by RussianJewel Monster and the Muse Photo 15 by RussianJewel Giacomo Joyce by Fuchsia-Groan man art by NemesisInRed :thumb182830327: The Flash. by GreyLynx Whistle While you Work by ernieleo People of Bhutan VII by ernieleo :thumb178715219: :thumb181503142:


And a huge Thank You to the following Affiliates for supporting this issue of Dramatic Insights!!  I hope you have enjoyed the article and that you will check out these fantastic groups!!  :heart:

:iconvoguing:  This group is open to everyone that loves art, dancing, fashion, couture, posing, glamour and so on. As a tribute to Voguing

:iconvanity-mirror:  The art of makeup-  Or really the magic of makeup...

:iconphotographyportraits:  At PhotographyPortraits, the title explains us! We want to see your BEST portraits purely in photography.
anonymous's avatar
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Lentekriebel's avatar
LentekriebelHobbyist General Artist
Great article! :)
NadavYacobiPhotos's avatar
what an article :)
good collection of good portraits and a good advices and tips , had fun reading it !

keep on the good work :)
have a nice day,
AMROU-A's avatar
AMROU-AProfessional Photographer
=) Amazing works dear! :nod: :clap:
:rose: =)
Coralulu's avatar
CoraluluProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for this! I really enjoyed the article and I'm looking forward to the next one! =D
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
Yay!! I'm thrilled you like and the next one on macro will be out next weekend!
bambiandfay's avatar
thank you very much for the tips and pics
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: So glad you like it!!
BrightStar2's avatar
This is wonderful, well done, you have put so much working into it, Love it thank you :love:
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: I'm so glad you enjoyed the article!! :)
Liz-in-BackoBourke's avatar
I love how practical and east to implement the tips are! We don't always have enough faith in ourselves and it helps to have such useful tips spelt out! Great article :D
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: I'm so glad you enjoyed the article!! :)
JACAC's avatar
t h a n k . y o u . f o r . t h e . h o n o r
a n d . c o n g r a t u l a t i o n s . t o . a l l . :clap:
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: You're welcome!! It couldn't have been done with those of you who participated!!
JACAC's avatar
:rose:es . f r o m . Lisbon
Alexlky's avatar
Great sharing! Thanks all for the wonderful tips.
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: I'm so glad you enjoyed the article!! :)
Ptollemy's avatar
A great article, thank you for the compiling it. :D
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: I'm so glad you enjoyed the article!! :)
hugogracaphotography's avatar
hugogracaphotographyProfessional Photographer
Some great works :)
Love those b&w!!
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: I'm so glad you enjoyed the article!! :)
Hobgoblin666's avatar
Hobgoblin666Hobbyist Photographer
Great feature and good tips! I think it's very interesting how when you scroll down and see each artists group of thumbs you can see how each one has their own unique style.
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: I'm so glad you enjoyed the article!! :)
GregoriusSuhartoyo's avatar
GregoriusSuhartoyoProfessional Photographer
Nice features & nice tips :w00t:
Squirrelflight-77's avatar
:hug: I'm so glad you enjoyed the article!! :)
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