Capturing a personality, not a person

Portrait Photography Nikon D3100Portrait Photography Nikon D3100Portrait Photography Nikon D3100Portrait Photography Nikon D3100Portrait Photography Nikon D3100Portrait Photography Nikon D3100Portrait Photography Nikon D3100Portrait Photography Nikon D3100
My favourite photography subject is people – I find very few other photography subjects as gratifying. I know that the full moon or the sunset won’t compare to what I can see with my eyes and feel in the moment, and wildlife kind of bores me. People are different though, people are often difficult, shy, self-aware, rigid…so when you manage to capture something of their personality, that glint in their eye, it is photographic gold.

It isn’t easy shooting people as an amateur though – I am always careful about shooting strangers and you never really have more than a few attempts to get that shot. Luckily I have my friend Mandy who tolerates me snapping away and she is incredibly photogenic too. The photos above are some of my favorites – friends and strangers. Some of them I like for the colors and composition, but I think the best ones of these tell a story too – the two children in Gabon, the guy and his dog, the old man from Alex laughing.

Often I practice self-portraits, but these are notoriously hard as you attempt to be photographer and subject….and since you can’t see what you’re shooting before you press the shutter, a lot of the shots are complete failures. There is also the issue of being incredibly aware of yourself, conscious of posing, which i find is not great for a photo unless you are a model. But even then it is manufactured, thought out, not spontaneous. The two below are the more successful ones.
self-portrait bird tattooself-portrait by candlelight