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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#6 – Ash Portraits

Ash came along to the studio for a portfolio building session. He is keen to get into modeling and needed studio time as experience.


Figure 1: Sutherst. Ash. 2017

Initially, Ash was quite nervous in the studio. To help him feel more at ease, he brought a friend with him for moral support.

The session comprised of working with Ash to determine which angles worked best for his face and features, as well as considering poses and angles to for different settings.

The model’s line of sight can dramatically change the mood of the photo. How the audience interacts with the photo and ultimately the viewer is key to the success of the image. When the model looks right into the camera, he/she pulls us in and talks to us, we become part of the conversation.  If they look out of the frame or elsewhere in the frame, we become purely observers of the model.


Figure 2: Sutherst. Ash. 2017

Any emotion that a model portrayed is direct towards where the model is looking.  If they smile at the camera, they appear to be smiling at us, the viewer.

This I can use to my advantage in shoots.  A smile makes us feel warm and happy, whilst a pained expression directed into the camera will make the viewer sympathise with the model.


Figure 3: Sutherst. Ash. 2017

During this shoot, I was able to work with Ash to help him relax and produce portraits that are compelling to the viewer.  His direct eye contact with the camera and the hint of a smile, draw the viewer in.  In figure 3 his eyes appear to smile, even if his mouth isn’t quite there.  The eye contact is intense and powerful. The viewer wants to know more. Who is he? What is he thinking?

In the 3 figures on this page, Ash shows a confident and positive attitude. For men, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.  The shoot was very successful in maintaining a confidence view that did not stray into arrogance.

The shoot was very successful in demonstrating the power of a portrait in pulling in the viewer and engaging them with the image.

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