If you are interesting in capturing people for both fun and profit, you need to keep up on the latest trends in subject and character photography. There are some exciting things happening right now in this area, with increasing focus on personality and the talents of the photographer. Let’s take a look!
New Possibilities with B&W: Black and white continues to be a popular option for photography, especially when people are around – and that should be a big clue right there. Black and white nature photo? Too boring these days. Black and white photo of a person? Now you’ve got some interest: The key is in focusing on emotion. Capture a particular look, gesture or pose that speaks volumes about what’s going on. The most successful B&W work does this to great effect, which is why this trend is continuing to grow in popularity.
At Work: While “in motion” has always been a popular option for professional photographers, the trending version is now “at work.” The goal is to capture beauty in the everyday tasks of craftspeople. Granted, it’s easy to do this when someone is sanding a chair compared to typing on a computer, but it still gives you possibilities to explore. For the best results, think about bring them into the studio to work on a project, or at least set up some unique lighting options that highlight the curves and planes of their work.
Connection, Connection, Connection: Can you connect with the subject of a photography? This is becoming increasingly important, even for professional portraits. People are moving away from merely looking beautiful and actually looking – giving the viewer something to hold onto. That’s why so many more pictures are capturing people in action. So while a nice photo of a smiling, happy couple staring into the camera may be the cornerstone of a project, what’s really going to draw people in are the other photos of them laughing together, sharing moments, making jokes, and contemplating objects with real interest.
Tattoos Are Even More In: Tattoos have been rising in popularity for a few years now, and are more common than ever before – particularly among the young where there is no stigma remaining, but also increasingly among older people. This provides an ideal and very popular focus for subject photography, a way to encapsulate what is important to the person in a very visual sense. Every photographer should make use of tattoos if any are available (and, well, decent enough).
No More Backs: Backs were definitely popular for a while – it seemed like everyone wanted a pose where they were facing away, toward some open plain or majestic view. By now, everyone has realized that this is sort of a waste: It doesn’t tell you much, it doesn’t draw you in, and it looks too arrogant. So those back shots are fading out, as they probably always should have. Another thing that people are getting very tired of? Smoke bombs and powder. They are messy, get everywhere, and only make for a good photo shoot one out of a hundred times.
When In Doubt, Go Strong: We’ve talked a lot about action so far, and that’s definitely where trends are heading, but there’s a less tangible focus, too – a focus on strength. If you are really trying to capture someone authentically and powerfully, show them playing to their strengths, literally. It could be running, pushing something, lifting something, anything: The goal is to make the subject look strong while capturing the dominant sides of their personality.