The Authentic Portraiture Toolkit || Sample Project

The Authentic Portraiture Toolkit || Sample Project - student project

This is the sample project for my class on Authentic Portraiture

Your project could look like this. Or it could be much bigger, full of exercises and stories and notes or it could be smaller. However you choose to do it, do it! It will help remember what I taught you and it will give you some experience right away. And although there was a reason for the order of the lessons, you are free to choose your own order. I have posted my results in the order of the lessons, working with a few different people. Enjoy!

Lesson Important Discovery: Mistakes

I was just playing with my friend and exploring what was there. She felt free, and so did I. It taught me to play and move myself, to try different angles while not paying too much attention to lighting. 


Evoking versus Acting

3 ideas on how to evoke those traits


Nonsense and Play

By simply using the subject's hand and a shallow depth of field, something interesting can happen. I love how the light is touching her finger tips and how her smile is still visible in the background.

Just two more hair flips as an example of play and nonsense.


Another example: jump around! This gave my subject a lot of energy and joy, allowing for some good pure portraits later (see class).


Raw edges 


I love Safi's beautiful quiet energy and self confidence. She is connecting with the viewer and also keeping a little distance, by the way she is holding her chin. I am adding to this by choosing a low angle. 


Rough and motion blurred 

Somehow the energy is always extra tangible in imperfect photos. I love to see her joy and how she is landing.


Share some mistakes

The idea is that you share some mistakes you made in the connection with people what made your work more difficult (or impossible). I have shared some of my mistakes in lesson 18. 


Main exercise  2 outfits, 2 stories

I have chosen to share these two portraits of Safi here because of the two very different expressions.

This first one is from the warm up shoot and I like that she is looking serious and very grounded, while doing playful things with her hands. 


Here, Safi looks ready to party in her beautiful dress, radiant with energy. Despite this being taken with the same light and background, the two stories told by her expression are completely different.


Another example:

We chose two very different settings. This one with a black background and an almost theatre like lens flare due to the back lighting. Agnes looks quite glamorous in her shiny top and her relaxed look expresses confidence.


This is Agnes in her most natural and happy state, talking with my cat Zus, who is normally quite shy. Her eyes are so full of love and it was taken with ambient light from above the kitchen table.



Creative Confidence & Camera Courage

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