Portrait Photography: Subject Gaze

Yesterday, I was looking through the beautiful collection of portraits I've been putting together on my Pinterest board as I so often do.

I've pinned countless images of famous people captured by some of the most talented photographers. I study them while asking myself
'what makes a great portrait?'

A great portrait happens when either a piece of the subjects personality comes across or a piece of the photographers personality through their specific point of view comes across. This is a very difficult thing to accomplish especially when you have a subject who is very aware of the camera. The magic is in the spontaneous, unpracticed posed.

One tip for obtaining a candid portrait is to have your subject look away from the lens. Instantly a mystery is created. What are they looking at?  Why are they reacting that way?

You can also control the mood of the story your photo is telling by showing or not showing what your subject is looking at.

For the more advanced, a gaze creates a line. Playing with this line affects the composition of the photo.

The following are photos from my Pinterest Boards where the subject is looking away from the camera.

Lupe Velez

Dorothy Dandridge

Che Guevarra

Jean Harlow

Source: tumblr.com via Letty on Pinterest
 James dean and elizabeth taylor

Source: google.com via Letty on Pinterest
Michelle Rodriguez

Bruce Lee

Source: google.com via Letty on Pinterest
Rob Lowe

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