Self-Assignment: Create a Personality Portrait

Photograph © Lou Freeman
As photographers, it's easy to get caught up in all the technical aspects of portraiture: lighting, lens selection, aperture/shutter speed settings, depth-of-field and so on. 

That's all good stuff to know.

The most important part of a portrait, however, is capturing a part of the subject's personality - which, in turn, affects the mood and the feeling of the portrait.

My friend and professional photographer/multi-media artist Lou Freeman did just that when she photographed another friend of mine, Steven Inglima, in the tack room at David R. Stoecklein's Idaho ranch last year.

Lou's shot captures a part of Steve's personality - the cowboy that lives within. In his "day job," Steve heads up the Canon Explorer of Light program - and rides herd, so to speak, on the Canon Explores of Light.

Lou's portrait is what I call an "environmental portrait" - a picture that shows the subject in the surrounding environment. It's that environment that helps to tell a story.

FYI: the shirt, hat, jeans and boots are not props. They belong to Steve. He is a cowboy at heart.

So my friends, have some fun and give yourself a self-assignment: create a personality portrait of one of your friends or family members, or even a stranger. 

Tech info: 
A small reflector was used to light Steve's face.
The light is coming from the translucent ceiling.
Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 70-200mm lens.

To see more of Lou's work, click here.

Explore the light,

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