You may or may not have heard of a signature shot. It’s the shot that some photographers may become known for. A unique look or style. Of course, not all photographers have a signature shot. Some may have, even if they don’t actually realise it.
As with many photographers, there are a few specific angles that I like to get whenever I’m shooting. For instance, I often feature lots of dark and moody cloudscapes in my landscape images. I like this look, and will often try to shoot these cloudy skies a little differently to portray my view of the changeable weather we get in the west of Ireland.
With my portraits, there is another look that has evolved over the last year or so. I’m not saying it’s original – it’s not!
But it is a look that I find myself drawn to shoot again and again. Perhaps in time, it may evolve into something original.
Everyone knows or has heard, that the eyes are the window to the soul. It’s an old adage that we all take for granted and it’s quite possibly true.
However, I have found sometimes when the sitter or model looks at the camera, that we are not always seeing into their soul. There may be a temptation for the model to portray an image of themselves that they want to portray or interpret the look that they think the photographer is trying to capture.
So try this. Sometimes the person can be photographed differently by asking them not to look at the camera.
The next time you’re shooting portraits, ask the model to close their eyes. Encourage them to think about something or someone that makes them happy. Sometimes, you can also ask them to think of something that makes them sad or something that is upsetting.
You will find that with the right person, this takes them out of the photographic moment, and lets us into their space so we can see a little of their world. Maybe perhaps, a little of their soul.
In my opinion, this often makes for a much more interesting photograph. When we shoot like this, it is really a collaboration between the photographer and the model – and this is when the very best photographs happen.
Feel free to comment and tell us your own tips, tricks and opinions. Thanks for reading this far.