Posing for a portrait isn’t a natural occurrence for most people. Stiffness, uncomfortableness, and that forced smile are all symptoms. Getting someone to relax, yet still be posed, is part of the photographer’s job. You know – posing without looking like they are posed. Or smiles that are genuine.
Making people laugh, or getting them to smile as a a reaction, is the key to a natural looking one.
I have a fondness for environmental portraits. Placing someone in context helps relax them, making for a more natural portrait. They seem to smile more, and easier. And of course, their story is being told. Photography is after all about the moment – an environmental portrait is that slice in time of who a subject is.
I’ve been concentrating on family this holiday season. And food (not just for consumption, silly). This is a portrait of my dad in his small workshop. It’s so small that he often works on his table saw.
He has been making clocks and small boxes, but I grabbed this table base with ball-and-claw feet and asked him to start carving. In talking about how long he has been working on this piece (or not working on it as the case may be) that smile came out.