Shooting Portraits – My Style

I don’t do portraits very often. When I’m asked to do them, it’s usually by people who want them for corporate type photos, and that just isn’t my style. Plus, to be perfectly honest, I don’t have the right skills.

But then, I do like photos that capture a moment in time. Something real — like the below photo. I took this photo for a friend of mine who runs the Feather and Fur Pet Care here in Santa Fe (she does a wonderful job). She needed some photography for her website, and asked me to do it.  We wanted some photos with her interacting with the animals, so I shot this one with her son’s American Bulldog on her lap. I really like this photo. It’s such a natural moment captured. The dog looks happy, and my friend is just taking a moment to relax and is clearly comfortable and loving this dog. This is my type of portrait.

Taken with natural light (she was under a porch) with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens at f/4.0  (great lens for not much money!).

Image Copyright © Katie Johnson. All Rights Reserved.


~ by KatiesCameraBlog on October 11, 2011.

41 Responses to “Shooting Portraits – My Style”

  1. That is the kind of photo i like the most 🙂 You can get unique moments and definitly the best moment for those is when people are relaxing and not posing for the photo…

    About that lens the AF-S is exactly the one i’m buying… just waiting for it to arrive… price\quality is definitly the best you can get.

    • Ah, thank you so much, Filipe! We have similar style, eh? 🙂 So glad you like this photo.

      My lens is the D lens, it’s AF but I think it’s a different version. That being said, those Nikon 50 mm, are great lenses. You really can’t get better price/quality ratio with the low light capability and the sharpness. I agree!

  2. I agree with Filipe. That is a great moment caught in time. My kind of animal pictures/portrait. 🙂

  3. Can’t beat the dog’s expression! Wonderful light and mood here. I also like the closeness between them…you can literally ‘feel’ the love. Nice!

  4. I think the reason why I don’t like to take portraits is that I then have someone else I have to please. It’s hard enough getting a shot of a landscape that I like! I think the best portraits are those unguarded moments, when your subject isn’t posing- isn’t even aware you’re there! This shot you captured says more about the type of person your friend is than any posed shot might have!

    • Yeah, I love shooting for myself. 🙂 I admire you landscape photographers. I used to do that (it’s what my first love in photography was), and now when I do it, I remember how hard it can be. (: Glad you like this photo. I think it does capture my friend well. She really is good with animals. Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. Nice pose by the dog :p

  6. Nice and natural! Great photo!

  7. A beautiful image, Katie! There is a warmth here in this type of portrait that is so missing in the usual corporate style shots. Well done! 🙂

    • Thanks, Ted! I’m so glad you can appreciate this type of portrait. I wouldn’t mind getting paid for this type of portraits, but people want those corporate type ones. 🙂

      • As an idea to get paid for this type of shot, try shooting candids at dog shows and agility trails, then let people the local clubs know you have taken shots (or leave your card with them at the show) and that prints can be made available. People enjoy shots of their companions doing what they enjoy. (I’m going to try this at our local dog shows to build up my techniques!)

      • That’s a good idea, Ted. And a fun one also. Thanks for that! And good luck with your try at it. Please share your work. 🙂

  8. Good work. 🙂

  9. I’m finding how hard it is to take pictures of dogs as I’ve been taking lots of Bongo for his blog. He hears the camera and comes running – right out of the picture. I love this pic of your friend and her dog.

    • Ah, Bongo!!! How funny of him. I had to teach my dog to like photos in her face, by giving her treats. Now she loves the camera. 🙂 So glad you like the photo and thanks for your comment!

  10. A wonderful, natural moment in time! Great capture!

  11. I’m a sucker for any human-dog interaction photo where both of them look comfortable and in love. This is a great photograph of just that, and I love it. Ironically, my post tonight is of my wife with our dog and has a similar, dog/human happiness/love pose that I think you will appreciate.

    Regardless, I really do think you did a great job with this portrait and I really like the fact that your friend’s face is partially obscured by the dog’s head. I think for what she does, it shows a sense of an animal first mentality which is important in that business. 🙂

    • Glad you can appreciate the bond that shows in this photo, David. I just checked your blog, but I don’t see that post. A great on of your kitty though.:) Love cat photos! Thanks so much for liking this photo. My friend is truly wonderful with animals.

  12. Love it… most of the current pictures of me are candid and/or posed pictures with my dog Kodiak. 🙂

  13. You just can’t beat candid photos of folks. That is a great lens by the way. Another good choice is the Nikon 35mm 1.8. Super sharp and a super price.

    • Thanks, David! 🙂 Yep, the 50 mm and the 35mm are both great lenses! Nikon makes those low light primes wonderfully! We should do a blog that just says things like that. 🙂

  14. Wonderful shot! I much prefer portraits that capture who a person is and what they love rather than a stuffy shot in a studio with a bland background. Life is too unique, interesting and precious to prop people in artificial settings, the subjects all dressed in things they don’t normally wear. This is my kind of portraiture! Great work! I’d be thrilled with portraits like this. 🙂

  15. These are the types of portraits I enjoy taking as well! Love it!

  16. What a lovely photo! Just looked through the rest of the photos on your friend’s website… How much fun was that to photograph all those dogs! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comment. It was a lot of fun to photograph all the dogs and the kids and the rabbit, and the cat and the chickens too. 🙂 She was so open to me just taking the photos I saw, and it was just a lot of fun. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  17. I am same with you about portrait photography. To capture a momen in time is being much more impressive and also giving more ideas about a person. This is what I love in portrait photographs… And you captured her so nicely and I can see and feel her beautiful soul. She is amazing. Thank you dear Katie, your photography is amazing and makes me excited. Have a nice day, with my love, nia

  18. Wonderful photo!!

  19. this photograph simply say’s every thing all by it’s self.
    A lovely moment to capture…..

  20. I love this photo, it is my favorite that I have seen so far in viewing your pictures and I can’t help look at it and not smile. It isn’t traditional at all and I think thats why I like it so much. Quoting you here it is a very “playful” photograph and I feel it shows a lot about the woman in the picture.

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