From the Introduction
The Camera Looks Both Ways
When it comes to photographing people, that is, no doubt, the most important photo tip I can share with you. “Every picture is a self portrait” is another way of conveying that point. Let me explain. When you are looking through your camera’s viewfinder, viewing and framing a subject, if you realize that the feeling, the emotion, the attitude and the energy that you project will be reflected in your subject’s face--and eyes--you’ll get a higher percentage of pictures that you like. That’s because by your actions, you are subconsciously “directing” the subject to mirror the way you feel. So in looking at the opening photograph in this introduction, I am sure that you know exactly how I was feeling when I took the picture outside a school in Lombok, Indonesia. That’s right! I was having a blast. For all the photographs in this book, I will provide their locations for those of you who may want to know where the pictures were taken. Some of you may find that photographing strangers in strange lands is the ultimate photography experience. For me, getting people to like, or at least accept me, in a matter of seconds in far-away places is my prime goal as a travel photographer. After achieving that goal, taking the pictures is relatively easy--if you follow the tips in this book. Even if you are not a world traveler, however, you’ll find that my tips and techniques for photographing people, for the most part, are the same, no matter where you go. In this book, the one that I’ve dreamed about writing for years, I’ll also share some behind-the-scenes stories. For my Lombok picture, for example, I had just finished doing magic tricks for about an hour in one of the school’s classrooms. I love doing magic tricks when I travel, and it’s also a great technique for “breaking the ice” and getting people to let me into their lives for a few moments. That effort resulted in one of my favorite group shots--a shot that captures the enthusiasm of the school kids. Of course, I’ll also get into the technical aspects of photographing people on the following pages. You’ll learn how to photograph people in low light and in bright light, with a flash and without a flash. You’ll see how reflectors and diffusers can turn a snapshot into a great shot. You’ll understand the difference between an environmental portrait and a portrait--and the difference between taking and making a picture. Camera settings and lenses will also be covered. You’ll find sections on Outdoor Photography and Indoor Photography. In some cases, you’ll be able to use the techniques interchangeably, such as when it comes to posing a group or creating a sense of depth in a photograph. In fact, I will share everything I know about photographing people with you--all while trying to make the learning process fun and enjoyable. Before moving on, I’d like to share three more pictures with you that illustrate my “Camera Looks Both Ways” philosophy.
Ready to get going with some solid tips and techniques? I am. In fact, I can’t wait for you to read the rest of this book--because I truly enjoy teaching and sharing my photographic experiences. Naturally, I also like “revisiting,” so to speak, some of my favorite subjects. Those of you who have attended my workshops and seminars, or have seen my Web TV shows, also know that I enjoy meeting people. For those of you who are joining me for the first time, I hope you enjoy “meeting” me here. Before you go, however, I’d like to share two of my all-time people pictures with you.
Understand your subject, and you’ll gain some insight into the soul of the photographer--your soul.
About the Author
Rick Sammon has published 28 books, including his latest, Face to Face - Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People. Other Rick Sammon titles include: Idea to Image, Rick Sammon's Travel and Nature Photography, Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography 2.0, Rick Sammon's Digital Imaging Workshops and Flying Flowers - the beauty of the butterfly. Rick writes for PCPhoto, Outdoor Photographer and Layers magazine. This seasoned pro gives more than a dozen photography workshops (including private workshops) and presentations around the world each year. He also presents at Photoshop World, which Rick says is a "blast." Each year, he travels the globe in search of new images and gives more than a dozen photography workshops and presentations around the world. He's been to more than 100 destinations on the planet, including the Arctic, Antarctica, Africa, Bhutan, Brazil, Galapagos, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Papua New Guinea. Rick is also the author of the Canon Digital Rebel XT lessons on the Canon Digital Learning Center. He is also a Canon Explorer of Light. When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, "My specialty is not specializing." See http://www.ricksammon.com for more information.