Creative portrait Photography Workshop – Photograph of the week – 23

Creative portrait photography workshop – RawSilk Photography

By Stefan Lacandler – Founder & Principal photographer at RawSilk Photography 

Creative portrait photography workshop – composition Techniques



Creative portrait photography workshop – composition Techniques


When it comes to portrait photography the most important thing in my opinion is the connection with the subject, if you can achieve this everything else follows. In the example above the actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is positioned in the left third of the frame looking pensively into the distance of the bottom right corner. In this image we have a number of compositional techniques working together which enhances the visual impact.  


By placing the subject off centre to the left rather than going smack in the middle, we loosely follow the rule of thirds . The basic principle is to break your image down into thirds, so you have 9 parts, we then have 4 intersections and 4 lines along which to place points of interest. We then have the subject looking down to the right into the distance, drawing our attention diagonally to the  negative space  on the right. The absence of content doesn’t necessarily make your pictures less interesting. Negative Space often adds interest as it places a stronger emphasis on your subject.


We also have repeated horizontal lines broken up by vertical lines in the shape of our subject and the red pole at the edge of the frame to the right, all strong compositional tools. Vertical lines set against horizontal lines can add interest by creating upward movement from a static horizon, often used in landscape photography but also relevant in portraiture.


Chiwetel is very much the hero in this shot, his gaze and his focus makes him interesting, you want to know what he is thinking. By shooting him from a low vantage point we give him power and presence, if you use an angle where you are looking up then it can make the subject appear more important, think about how a superhero poster is compose, always shot from a low angle.


For more of my portrait work have a look HERE

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