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What Is A Creative Portrait?

Imagine this; the year is 2042, you’re twenty years older, millions of pounds richer, and own a large Georgian manor nestled in the beauty that is the sprawling British countryside.

It’s twelve to noon, and as you take your late-morning stroll with coffee in hand through your expansive library, you pause as you reach the grand fireplace looming in the room’s centre. Your eyes trail over all the little trinkets you’ve collected over the years that decorate the black marquina marble. A sense of warmth rushes through you. Memories of your many travels sweep through your mind, filling you with a deep nostalgia and happiness greater than words could ever express. You are content, until your gaze drifts upwards, spotting the one thing that has always caused you internal strife… The bland portrait you had taken of you from twenty years ago mocks your vision. Your past self, with half-shut eyes and an awkward toothy smile sits upon a high stool, hands linked together upon your lap. Its uncanny glare unsettles you greatly. A pang of remorse stirs within your gut, and somewhere deep inside the overwhelming feeling of regret snuffs out the flame of warmth that once burned brightly in your breast. All those years of travel, all your amazing experiences… ruined by a singular picture you never found the time to replace. As you struggle with this newfound emotion, one nagging question leaps to the forefront of your mind: ‘why, oh why, did I not hire that professional photographer for a better, more exciting picture when I had the chance?’ Don’t worry, the year is still 2022, and you haven’t made that critical mistake just yet. Whilst the average portrait gets the job done well and good enough… why not dare to be different? Why not break out of the mould and try something new, fun and bold for a change? Introducing: Creative Portraits!

What are you talking about? Creative portraiture is something that shows the world your expression, feelings – your uniqueness in, you guessed it, a creative way. Rather than taking just a standard photo and calling it there, a creative portrait photographer can combine many different real-world and technical elements together to create a picture that is worthy of hanging upon the mantelpiece of that fictional fireplace. Elements include items like ring lamps for extra lighting; droplets of water for a more dazzling effect; and even smoke-bombs if you’re feeling brave enough. It doesn’t just end there, though. The sheer quality a photographer can produce using such methods is astounding, just have a look at the images below!

Cool, right? It certainly stands out more than a simple headshot! These images was edited using Adobe’s Photoshop Pro – yet another handy tool your local shutterbug can use to really make the picture explode with detail! Below are just a few components to consider when thinking about getting yourself a spicier portrait!

It’s all about you… It goes without saying that you cannot take a portrait without subject matter. When it comes to a creative portrait, it’s up to you how you want to look or act. You can dress fancy, dress down, wear the armour of a 1400’s Knight – the choice is completely yours. Don’t be afraid to get creative! That’s the whole reason of a creative portrait – to capture something out of the norm!

…And the camera! Not only can a photographer use everyday objects and other wonderful items to enhance an image, but they can also use their camera for more astounding effects, too! Say that you wanted to capture the focus of the image moving – that they were sprinting through the finish line of a race – a faster or slower shutter speed would be your best friend to capture that desired effect. Depending on the speed that the shutter closes, it can add a terrific motion blur that really gives off the illusion that the picture is alive and breathing. Or, alternatively, if you wanted to focus on a singular slice of your image – the track-runner themselves – then perhaps depth of field would be more to your liking. Using this technique, the photographer can blur the background of the image, making the subject-matter really jump out of a picture. This technique is perfect if you desire a close-up or faraway portrait.

This is just a small taste as to what a camera can do to really lighten up your portrait!

Do look into the light!

Lighting is a massive component of any photograph. Not only does it darken or brighten your image, it is integral when it comes to capturing the tone and atmosphere you wish to convey. Wearing a mask? Why not consider using split lighting to appear even more intimidating? This lighting effect does what it says on the tin – it illuminates half of the subject-matters face, leaving the other half shrouded in darkness. Perfect for conveying a more serious tone.

Or why not use gel lighting? This fancy bit of equipment can be placed over a source of light, tinting the bland glow into something far more appealing to look upon. It can make for amazing lighting depending on the style of your portrait.

So, in twenty years’ time, when you find yourself entertaining guests within your manor, make sure that you kindly turn their attention towards the new portrait adorning your fireplace. Rather than giggle at the picture like they would previous, watch as their jaws drop and their eyes bulge at the beauty that is your creativity unleashed!

"No one is you and that is your superpower." - Elyse Santilli





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