It is my belief – mainly because I’ve been taking portraits for some time – that people have a uniformity of range. When it comes to posing, I will never make an argument that a model/actor (i.e. entertainer) has less range than a regular person. But what I will argue is that the raw and natural exposure to emotion that we all possess as humans gives us a range of posture and position that can create photos like this.
This photo makes me recall images of famous leaders that have carried their torch through our cold world. There are several factors that make their images inheritently more powerful – context, history, significance, to name a few. But that doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to re-create those same powerful images.
Technically speaking, I find that a close crop is going to be the best way of bringing the power to our protaganist. Shooting too far away invites distractions into the scene, marginalizing our subject and ultimately diminishing his/her power. For the model, simplicity is best. There are a range of emotions we as humans can express but it isn’t the “what” as much as it is the “how.” How should you express sadness, fear, strength – simply. Do not overthink the easy. And while modeling for a non-model may seem hard…it isn’t if you just channel what you already know. I can give more advice on techniquie, but I think it is self-explanatory and it would be more fun to experiment – which is what I advocate on this blog!
Some post-processing was used for the photo. I worked with contrast and saturation, but it pretty much communicated all on its own. Now go, get out there and shoot some powerful portraits.