Candid group portraits

CAPTURING CANDID GROUP PORTRAITS CAN BE CHALLENGING. When taking a group shot, there is often at least one individual that becomes aware of your presence. Whether this matters, may depend on the interaction between that individual and the other members of the group. It is important to achieve a strong overall shape while optimising the […]

When prime lenses matter

Zoom lenses are great. They are flexible, quick to respond when you need different focal lengths in a hurry and generally light to carry. They do have drawbacks. Unless you invest in wide aperture zooms which are both expensive and bulky you can struggle when the light is scarce and you need a short depth of field […]

Why we are drawn to a stare

Children can have incredibly intense stares but often it is not obvious what it is they are looking at. It might not matter. In this case, I could not take my eyes off the child’s glare being captivated by his intensity and powerful eyes. Capturing an intense stare can be a powerful way to capture […]

Images of workers tell a story

Creating a meaningful portrait of working conditions within a cluttered and busy production environment can be a challenge. There is always lots of clutter, individuals and groups you will not want within the image and plenty of distractions. The tannery in Marrakech was all of these. Sometimes you just have to bide your time and wait for the right […]

How colours dramatise portraits

Colour can bring portraits alive, drawing your attention to the lighting and composition while adding interest and drama. Different colours can have different effects on the emotional feel of the image. Advancing colours create an upbeat and more powerful compositional statement, meanwhile blue and the other receding colours tend to create an atmosphere of calm […]

Capturing street poverty

Capturing street poverty can be a balancing act. You need to show both humanity and a sense of the personal story behind a portrait. However, you also want a dramatic and powerful image. In this case, a street beggar was huddled underneath a market stall to shield himself from the harsh midday sunlight in Marrakech. It […]

Let the eyes tell the story

When to capture portraits with eyes to camera can be a tricky decision. Especially when time is not on your side, you are under pressure with no idea how long you have to capture the moment. This image of a Moroccan street trader was taken in a busy market in the Atlas mountains. The first thing […]

Use the street as your studio

Shooting groups on the street can be challenging and if the shots are candid, they can be unpredictable. You will not be in control of the background and a focus point for the shot may be difficult to achieve. Walls especially of the coloured variety can make great backdrops on these occasions. They visually pull […]

Use B&W for storytelling

Although colour especially in places like Marrakech can be very seductive, occasionally a more photojournalistic feel can be more powerful and dramatic. In creating this image in black and white a more powerful narrative and sense of the woman’s cultural identity was aimed for. The woman trader captured here appears authentic which is helped by the mono treatment. The black and […]