You may be familiar with portrait photography, but have you ever had the pleasure of discovering this art form? If you haven’t, now is the time to do it. Fine art portrait photography has exploded in the luxury portrait photography market in recent years. The results are superbly evocative and make the wall art simply stunning.
Art portrait photographers are, in fact, artists. Creating fine art portrait images in the digital world requires a high level of perception and skill. It takes a highly trained and specialized photographer to do this well. It’s all about creative vision.
To get a feel for what fine portrait photography entails, we’ve explored the subject a bit and put together some posing tips. Let’s start with what we think of to be the fine art.
What is the Fine Arts?
Fine arts are visual arts considered to be something created for aesthetic or intellectual purposes rather than for practical purposes. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the fine arts are:
- Creative art, in particular visual art, the products of which are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic or intellectual content
- An activity requiring great skill or achievement
Fine art is basically an art form practiced for its beauty. It is about knowing why it was created and comes from a concept or an idea derived from the artist. There is a difference between commercial art and fine art. The purpose of fine art is simply to exist. Historically, the fine arts encompassed painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and poetry, but now also includes photography.
What is a portrait photograph?
A portrait photograph is an image of a person or a group of people, with the face (or faces), facial features and expression as the primary focus of attention. Traditional poses can be just the head and shoulders, half of the body, or the whole body. Above all, portrait photography attempts to capture the subject’s unique character and attributes. The art is to capture the personality of the subject.
Portrait photography is above all a technically perfect composition. It is a skill that takes patience and practice. Bringing out a person’s character in front of the camera, without it reverting to a “photo face”, is the essence of good portrait photography. A portrait photograph is not a straightforward shot. It’s carefully planned and rehearsed. Outfit, props, location, angle, and pose are all prepared before filming.
What is fine art portrait photography?
Let’s start with what fine art photography is not. It is not a photograph capturing an event or memory without artistic motivation. It is not photojournalism.
In fine art photography, the photographer is the artist, and recording the subject is not the primary goal. Make an artistic statement is. A fine art portrait image is created by the photographer as an artist and not just by the camera. The photographer’s vision is central to the resulting shot.
A fine art portrait photograph is intended for wall art. It can sometimes be qualified as a “scenery photograph” or a “scenery photo”. This style of photography contrasts with documentary style photojournalism in which subjects and events are captured to represent reality.
Fine art portrait photography offers maximum impact and depicts emotion in a vivid and distinctive style. These portraits are timeless and capture the essence of the subject’s character in a vision created by the photographer. The photographer can use a location, props, or surreal lighting to manipulate the image depending on which one they are trying to achieve.
Ultimately, fine art portrait photography is the family heirloom of the future. It’s art for the sake of art. The most beautiful specimens are those where the subject looks surprisingly real when the photograph is positioned right in front of you.
Best posing techniques for fine art portraits
Pose is a strong element in fine art portrait photography. This is what separates the good from the good. No matter what the price of the photographers kit, if they can’t direct your pose, they won’t capture the great shot you are hoping for. Basic posing techniques for large fine art portraits include:
- Create a separation between the arms and the body
- Pulling in the arms, pulling them back enough to hide the upper arm
- Force the chin away from the neck
- arch your back
- Let go of the shoulders
- Tilt your head back
- Torsion of the body
- Make the movement credible
- Create a shape
(Source of basic installation techniques: http://blog.creativelive.com/10-basic-posing-techniques-fine-art-portraits/)
If you like the idea of your picture hanging in the hallway of your descendant, then a fine art portrait photograph is a must. To find the right photographer for you, be sure to check out the image portfolios. Go with the one that evokes the most emotion in you.