This Sunday, I’m looking at portraits. Particularly, the portraits taken by the DuckDuck Collective. For whatever reason, I always feel like portraits (not just the ones I take, but almost all portraits) are cheesy looking. A model stares intensely into the distance. A model rolls around in the grass, fingers in her hair. I can’t. I get embarrassed for the photographer and the model in probably 2/3rds of the portraits I look at.
The DuckDuck Collective (a creative group I found years ago on StumbleUpon!) does a great job with their portraits. I’m not embarrassed looking at these! They have a candid feel – very easy and relaxed. I think where things go wrong is when people (the photographer and/or the model) try too hard.
I think the best thing a photographer can do, is to just hang out with whoever you want to take portraits of. Take them out somewhere natural (not the park in an evening gown – sounds ridiculous, but I’ve seen it) and just chill. Instead of staging shots (which I’ve done in the past), just spend a few hours together and snap snap snap away. From doing some studio portraits, I learned the best photos came from the embarrassed laugh and relaxation of the muscles after the cheesy pose.
It’s that relaxed feel that I love in the DuckDuck collectives portraits. I’m going to try and up my portrait game! Do you have any tips for me? I’d love to hear them! Comment below.