So many times parents would describe their children as a very photogenic. Or the opposite- they would be worried, their children aren’t photogenic enough. Is there such thing as being photogenic? How much does it matter when you want your child to have some professional pictures taken. Are the best fine art portraits reserved for the specific type of faces? Let’s try to figure out.
What is the most important part of a portrait picture to be called a Fine Art Picture?
As a portrait photographer, I set up the focal point on eyes, almost always. This is the most important thing, the soul of a photograph. I make sure eyes will stand out by being in focus even if the rest of the image is a bit creamy. And yes, this is the moment when we can answer the question: why some children look better on pictures than others? If you have a child who is the owner of very, very big eyes then lucky you. The session can be much smoother and the photographer should be able to take amazing pictures sooner. But don’t worry if the size of your little one’s eyes is average. Children, in general, have a good proportion of eyes against the whole face. That’s why us photographers love to photograph them so much!
(I make sure eyes will stand out by being in focus even if the rest of the image is a bit creamy)
When eyes are in focus, what do we notice next?
Another detail which can be distinctive and set up the whole atmosphere is your child’s hair. And there is no right or wrong way here. Both light and dark colours, as well as various lengths, can be called photogenic. In my opinion, the more highlight catching points the better. That means long, shiny, curly or wavy hair will look the best. But if you imagine a picture of let’s say a girl with a black cat (oh, I so want to take this kind of picture!) then short black hair would look amazing! And I wouldn’t care about the lack of curls here at all!
(In my opinion, the more highlight catching points the better which means long, shiny, curly or wavy hair will look the best)
To smile or not to smile?
Let’s now talk about the facial expression, something people are quite often scared of before the session. Professional models change their faces every 3 seconds and you think how on earth they know how to do that?! Don’t worry, a good photographer will guide you or your child so you know exactly what to do. In the beginning, it may feel a bit awkward but after few minutes you should feel way more natural and relaxed. My best tip about posing and pulling the right face expression is: look into the camera like you would into someone’s eyes. Sometimes the smile is what we want to achieve and it could be tricky (in fact read this to find out more about the smile challenge) but very often a serious face could be way more desired for a fine art portrait.
All about accessories…
Can you recall this oil painting “A girl with a pearl earring” by J. Vermeer? Without this little white dot by the model’s ear, it would be just a portrait. Simple jewellery made it a painting to remember. The same with the photography…little things can make a massive difference, so have a proper brainstorm about something special you could implement into your session. An old necklace you have from your grandma? Your favourite scarf? Or perhaps your daughter’s beloved pink bow, one she could wear every day? Remember you need to set up a session theme with your photographer and the more art background they have, the better. I am proud to say I have studied drawing and painting when I was at the university. I feel colours, I see lights and shadows and I definitely got an imagination to create pictures, and to call them Fine Art Pictures.
(White ballet style skirt define this little model as a dancer)
What’s your background?
When it comes to portraits it feels like the model is playing the biggest part. The way she looks, the way she is dressed and posed, all of the things I listed above. But don’t forget the second plan counts too. Usually, it’s going to be a plain wall or backdrop, sometimes a textured wall or something “borrowed” from nature such as a tree or wild bush. Luckily it’s down to me, your photographer to take care of that. I love discovering local walks around Reading, I can use for my photography and always appreciate new suggestions for locations. So if you know a place which seems suitable for your Fine Art Portrait session feel free to let me know.
(Field of poppies as one of the most beautiful examples of a perfect background made by nature)
As you can see there is a set of ingredients essential to distinguish an ordinary and extraordinary picture. Combination of all of them is a first step towards the art creation. And I love when I look at the picture thinking “this is more like a fine art rather than just a picture”. Would you agree?