Finding Inspiration!

          One of the best ways I’ve found to get inspired is by looking at great photography and critically analyzing why the images work.  Study the works of master portrait photographers for content, emotion, and composition.  Remember, less is often more.  Simplicity is important.  It’s the light and the person in the frame that makes a great photo. 

          Take the time to dissect how a photograph was lit.  Observe where the shadows fall. 

          Pay attention to what’s in the background and whether it adds to or detracts from the impact of the portrait. 

          Study the expression on the model’s face and how you react to it.  Take note of how she poses, including her hands, torso, legs, etc. 

          Look at the four main elements of the portrait (expression and pose, makeup and hair, wardrobe, and background) and then decide for yourself if they all tell one story and if that story is a compelling one. 

          In your journey as a portrait photographer, set aside some money and time to purchase and then dive deeply into fine art portrait photography books. 

          Below you'll find a list of some of my all time favorite portrait photography books.           

1. "Shadows on the Wall" by Peter Lindbergh

2.“Beautiful Disasters” by David Drebin

3.“Tribute” by Frank de Mulder

4.“Money People Politics” by Marco Grob

5.“Profiles” by Marc Hom

6.“The Light Between Us” by Vincent Peters

7.“50 Portraits” by Gregory Heisler

8.“L.A. Style” by Herb Ritts

9. "Portraits" by Martin Schoeller

10.“Richard Avedon Photographs 1946-2004”

11.“Jean-Francois Jonvelle”

12.“Kate Moss” by Mario Testino

13.“Images of Women Parts I and 2” by Peter Lindbergh

14.Azzedine Alaia and Peter Lindbergh

15.“The Iconic Photographs” by Steve McCurry

16.“The Photograph” by Andy Gotts

17.Terry O’Neill

18.Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

19.Annie Leibovitz

20.“American Odyssey” by Mary Ellen Marks

21.“Horst Photographer of Style”

22. “Close” by Martin Schoeller