Photographing People: At Home and Around the World / Edition 1

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Overview

"The vulnerability of an infant, the spontaneous actions of a child, the tenderness of a loving parent, or the mystery of the people you encounter on your travels.... These are precious moments for a photographer, and sharing them makes it that much more special."
- André Gallant

Whether capturing a child's first steps or the unique character of a face in the crowd, people are a terrific subject for photographers. Unlike nature or travel photography, anyone, from the youngest and most novice photographer to the seasoned professional, can find another person to shoot. That's why knowing how to photograph people successfully is a key skill for every photographer.

Photographing People: At Home and Around the World is the sixth volume in a series of instructional books by internationally- acclaimed photographer, Freeman Patterson.

André Gallant, Patterson's longtime teaching partner and co-author of Photo Impressionism and the Subjective Image, offers clear instructions for photographers who want to capture the free spirit of a child, the extraordinary life of a grandparent, or the mysterious draw of a stranger who compels the imagination.

This book features 100 stunning photographs with extended captions that include valuable technical guidelines for both film and digital photographers, and illustrates the superb craftsmanship behind beautiful photography.

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Camera - Leslie Hossack
A book about the craft of photographing people, not about the art of creative photography... will motivate you to get out there and take your work to the next level.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552636947
  • Publisher: Key Porter Books
  • Publication date: 11/10/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

André Gallant specializes in travel photography and is co-author of Photo Impressionism. His work is published in many national lifestyle, travel and outdoors magazines.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Freeman Patterson
Preface

CAMERAS, LIGHTS, ACTION

  • Cameras
  • Light
  • Action
PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE AT HOME
  • Posing Portraits
  • Family and Friends
  • Children
  • People at Work
  • People at Leisure
PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD
  • What to Bring with You
  • Approaching Strangers
  • The Posed Image
  • The Candid Image
  • Anticipating the Moment
  • People of the Blue City: A Search for Portraits

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Preface

Preface

With this book, I want to share the joys of photographing people. Of capturing on film the vulnerability of an infant, the spontaneous actions of a toddler, the tenderness of a loving parent, the wisdom in an elderly gaze. Of photographing the relatives and friends you love dearly, and the strangers you meet in your travels. These are precious moments for a photographer, and sharing them makes it that much more special.

When I bought my first camera, I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on my life. I started photographing nature as a hobby. I felt serene as I took pictures of lakes and rivers, mist in meadows and flowers dancing on windswept mornings. I was quite shy at the time and refrained from photographing people.

Then, on a spring day in 1983, I asked my brother if I could photograph his children, James, Vicky and Ben, who were six, four and three. My first attempt was disastrous, or so I thought. I took James and Vicky to the corner store and I bought each of them an ice cream cone. I began taking photographs, and Vicky dropped her cone. She became agitated and tried to take her brother's cone. I tried to calm her down, only to make matters worse. (You do not tell a four-year-old what to do!) I came home very disappointed — nothing had gone as planned.

Later, when I processed the film and looked at the contact sheet, two images stood out. The first was of Vicky, jumping all over her brother, trying to steal his ice cream cone The second was of James, begrudgingly sharing his treat with his younger sister. To this day, these are my all-time favorite photographs. They also were my introduction to photographing people.

I spent the rest of the summer photographing my niece and nephews. Ben, the youngest, was very spontaneous and enjoyed posing for the camera. He knew very well that most photo sessions ended with a trip to buy a new action figure or a delicious treat. With the help of these kids, I gradually started to overcome my reluctance to photograph people. Before long, I began photographing my friends' children, selecting interesting locales or backgrounds, finding the right props and hoping that magic would unfold. While I was building my portfolio and learning about light, posing techniques and how to relate to kids, I always gave the parents a set of prints.

Next, I began photographing aspiring local actors and models. They would pose for me in exchange for a few prints for their portfolios. I usually photographed in black and white, processed the film myself and printed my own photographs. I hooked up with a hairstylist and makeup artist and, when word of my photography began to spread, I was asked to photograph local fashion shows, sporting events and, eventually, weddings and commissioned portraits.

I began to feel at ease photographing people I knew. Now I had to learn to photograph strangers. By this time, I knew I wanted to be a travel photographer, so my next challenge would be to travel somewhere and get images of the locals. But I was incredibly shy, and on my first few trips I used a long lens to avoid making contact with these strangers. I brought back many pictures of people walking away, their backs turned to the camera. In these early travel photographs, I rarely had any clear shots of the locals' faces. When a few art directors pointed this out to me, I knew I had to conquer my shyness if I wanted to succeed as a photographer.

On subsequent trips I began to relax, and even to connect with some of the strangers I aimed my camera at. No longer shooting people from afar, I started to produce interesting portraits. I noticed a big change in my travel images and began to feel confident about the work I was producing. My photography soon caught the attention of editors at various magazines, and I started to get assignments travelling abroad. Most of the covers I've earned for travel magazines feature a person's face, and I've realized the importance of portraits to travel photography. When I look back at the work I've done over the years, I can truly say that my portraiture means the most to me.

Photographing People at Home and Around the World is the sixth in a series of instructional photography books by Key Porter. It was made possible with the help of my very good friend and teaching partner of ten years, Freeman Patterson. Thank you, Freeman, for your never-ending generosity, for making this project happen and for writing the foreword.

André Gallant
Saint John, New Brunswick
August 2005

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Introduction

Preface

With this book, I want to share the joys of photographing people. Of capturing on film the vulnerability of an infant, the spontaneous actions of a toddler, the tenderness of a loving parent, the wisdom in an elderly gaze. Of photographing the relatives and friends you love dearly, and the strangers you meet in your travels. These are precious moments for a photographer, and sharing them makes it that much more special.

When I bought my first camera, I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on my life. I started photographing nature as a hobby. I felt serene as I took pictures of lakes and rivers, mist in meadows and flowers dancing on windswept mornings. I was quite shy at the time and refrained from photographing people.

Then, on a spring day in 1983, I asked my brother if I could photograph his children, James, Vicky and Ben, who were six, four and three. My first attempt was disastrous, or so I thought. I took James and Vicky to the corner store and I bought each of them an ice cream cone. I began taking photographs, and Vicky dropped her cone. She became agitated and tried to take her brother's cone. I tried to calm her down, only to make matters worse. (You do not tell a four-year-old what to do!) I came home very disappointed -- nothing had gone as planned.

Later, when I processed the film and looked at the contact sheet, two images stood out. The first was of Vicky, jumping all over her brother, trying to steal his ice cream cone The second was of James, begrudgingly sharing his treat with his younger sister. To this day, these are my all-time favorite photographs. They also were my introduction to photographing people.

I spentthe rest of the summer photographing my niece and nephews. Ben, the youngest, was very spontaneous and enjoyed posing for the camera. He knew very well that most photo sessions ended with a trip to buy a new action figure or a delicious treat. With the help of these kids, I gradually started to overcome my reluctance to photograph people. Before long, I began photographing my friends' children, selecting interesting locales or backgrounds, finding the right props and hoping that magic would unfold. While I was building my portfolio and learning about light, posing techniques and how to relate to kids, I always gave the parents a set of prints.

Next, I began photographing aspiring local actors and models. They would pose for me in exchange for a few prints for their portfolios. I usually photographed in black and white, processed the film myself and printed my own photographs. I hooked up with a hairstylist and makeup artist and, when word of my photography began to spread, I was asked to photograph local fashion shows, sporting events and, eventually, weddings and commissioned portraits.

I began to feel at ease photographing people I knew. Now I had to learn to photograph strangers. By this time, I knew I wanted to be a travel photographer, so my next challenge would be to travel somewhere and get images of the locals. But I was incredibly shy, and on my first few trips I used a long lens to avoid making contact with these strangers. I brought back many pictures of people walking away, their backs turned to the camera. In these early travel photographs, I rarely had any clear shots of the locals' faces. When a few art directors pointed this out to me, I knew I had to conquer my shyness if I wanted to succeed as a photographer.

On subsequent trips I began to relax, and even to connect with some of the strangers I aimed my camera at. No longer shooting people from afar, I started to produce interesting portraits. I noticed a big change in my travel images and began to feel confident about the work I was producing. My photography soon caught the attention of editors at various magazines, and I started to get assignments travelling abroad. Most of the covers I've earned for travel magazines feature a person's face, and I've realized the importance of portraits to travel photography. When I look back at the work I've done over the years, I can truly say that my portraiture means the most to me.

Photographing People at Home and Around the World is the sixth in a series of instructional photography books by Key Porter. It was made possible with the help of my very good friend and teaching partner of ten years, Freeman Patterson. Thank you, Freeman, for your never-ending generosity, for making this project happen and for writing the foreword.

André Gallant
Saint John, New Brunswick
August 2005

Read More Show Less

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