In portrait photography, expression is everything, it’s true, but I challenged myself to seek that out in ways that went beyond obvious cues of my subject’s face. I would shoot unique angles, seek out expressive gestures and capture my subject matter through unanticipated points of view. It’s amazing how much emotion, enchantment and even whimsy can be found in the unexpected.
Time and time again, my favorite images were those captured from a unique perspective or composed in a way that felt fresh and new. Thankfully, they were often the images that my clients enjoyed the most, as well. When I was able to show them a window into their own world that they themselves had never peered into, I felt like I had done not only what I had been hired to do, but I was doing something more. I was giving them the gift of seeing their life in a whole new light.
Since moving on from portrait photography, I’ve found that these same ideas, this same way of seeing the world and capturing it in photographs, is still what fuels my creative passion. Whether I’m shooting for a work assignment or I’m shooting for myself—and, thankfully, these aren’t mutually exclusive—I find myself looking to capture my subject in a way that no one else might have thought to capture it. Even the most seemingly mundane subject, with the right light, perspective and creative composition, can be transformed into a work of photographic art; and that’s really the fun of photography.
There’s a common thread, a certain approach, I like to take that helps me to create images that offer a unique perspective. The most important thing to remember is to shift yourself and your lens from snapshot mode (standing still in one, predictable place) and find a way to see your subject and then capture it in a more unexpected way.
Observation is always the way to begin. By taking the time to look and see the world around you and all of its nuances in light, shadow, shape, line, color and texture, you’ll better see each subject and how much visual wonder there is in everything—no subject too mundane, no moment too ordinary to elevate into something interesting and beautiful.