"Getting professional looking shots of people is harder than you might think,

for one simple reason: the pros hire really good-looking models... . They're models because they photograph really, really well. So, what makes our job so hard is that we are not surrounded by fabulous-looking models who just happen to be standing around not eating. Nope, we usually wind up shooting portraits of our friends, many of whom (on a looks scale) fall somewhere between Mr. Bean and Jabba the Hut. This is why our job, as portrait photographers, is actually substantially more challenging than that of a seasoned professional - we've got to make magic from some seriously un-model-like people. This is precisely why we're often so disappointed with our portraits (when its really not our fault)." - Scott Kelby, The Digital Photography Book: Volume 2

[Updated 02-July-2008 @ 10:26: added link to author's site selling the book (no, I don't get a commission)]


ingrid said…
damn those unphotogenic ugly normal people.
Scott Kelby said…
Thankfully, I'm incredibly handsome and model-like myself. ;-)

Richard said…
ingrid: he he, actually, I don't think it is their fault either. I think the lies with their parents.

The book is actually pretty good. Mostly being straightforward and to the point about what you need to do in order to take good pictures instead of giving a lot of technical descriptions that make people's eyes glaze over.

BTW, you are hardly unphotogenic.

scott: wow! a comment from the author himself. Thanks.

It was a toss up between (1) this, (2) how to photograph round faced people or (3) the reasons for doing landscape photography.

I'm enjoying the book. I prefer books that are to the point.
carra said…
Well having spent a few years dedicating myself to photography I understand what it's all about as my speciality was portraits. I decided that I want to capture the soul of the person I am taking picture of. I was disappointed I never captured the soul, but rather my own feelings. I think what we photograph is what we feel at that particular moment, if you're feeling miserable or lusty it will all show on the photograph.
KayMac said…
Timely. I am just getting ready to have some work done for my company and we joked about hiring a model. Maybe we will!

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