When you shoot a portrait, subtleties make a huge difference. When you edit a portrait session you can see that each moment is different from the previous, and that there’s no possibility of having the same photographs or expressions. And that’s because when you shoot a person there are many dynamics involved: how you relate to the person you shoot, how you direct them, and how you manage to get the expression you want from them. These are all variables which you can’t predict. For these reasons edit down the photos and pick “the best one” (if you can actually say that there’s a “best one”, when it’s most correct to say that there’s a favorite one) is the most difficult moment of the entire shooting.
Without talking about the light and the impact it has on the mood of the photograph and on the facial features of a person, there are many other factors that change one photo to the next, like the direction of the gaze, a subtle tilt of the head to the back shoulder or to the front, the chin up or down, framing in the perfect center or close to one border, get close by some inches, tilt the camera just a bit to the left… These are all small adjustments that change completely the photograph.
Here’s a portrait session I had with my friend and photographer Lucas Aznar, and as you can see each of these photos tells a completely different story.
Which one is your favorite, and why?