Audrey Hepburn Avedon

How to Make Great Photos of People

The best photography is of human beings:

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Why photograph humans?

There is nothing more beautiful than a human being. Richard Avedon shows this very well:

  • Audrey Hepburn Avedon

All art is about humans and humanity.

First of all, ask yourself:

Do I love humans and do I love humanity?

This is the first step. We must follow ‘anthro-philia’ (love of humans) as a philosophy. If we don’t love humans (or ourselves), we will not be able to take the next step.

Interact and engage with your subjects

To bring out more soul from your subjects, you cannot treat them like inanimate clay. You MUST interact, engage, and play with them! Dance with them, talk with them, and share your life with them. This was the genius of Richard Avedon:

To monochrome or color?

Honestly it doesn’t really matter. Just shoot whatever speaks to you. And also realize — you can shoot both!

To be clear, or to be unclear?

A ‘portrait’ literally means to ‘portray‘ someone or something.

Thus the question is:

How do you want to portray your subject?

For myself, I want to portray Cindy as beautiful, elegant, mysterious, enigmatic, silly, and deep.

And ultimately my impetus behind CINDYPROJECT is this:

To encourage you to ALSO photograph your loved ones, to appreciate them, and memento mori (remember we will and MUST die).

Photographing strangers

In street photography, we are also making portraits (likeness) of humans in the streets.

What kind of portrayal am I trying to shot in my street photography, in my projects? Depends on the project.

For my SUITS project, I wanted to portray the stress, anxiety, and frustration of slavery-esque 9-5 jobs. It is how I felt when I worked a 9-5 job.

Subjective portrayals are the best.

Or in my ONLY IN AMERICA project, I wanted to portray MY personal vision of America.

A photograph and never will be able to capture some sort of ‘objective’ reality, nor should it. The purpose of photography is to communicate YOUR personal view on things with others (via your photos).

Photograph with your soul

To make great photos of people, you must photograph with your soul. Your soul as being a combination of love, compassion, empathy, or personal interest/curiosity.

Thus to conclude:

To photograph great portraits of people, photograph people you admire, love, and respect!

ERIC

Soul Photography

Learn how to photograph with your soul: