Unless I’m looking for a fashion style shot, my approach to portraits is normally to allow the model to be comfortable to be themselves and convey a mood by feeling an emotion. Partially via them feeling their thoughts, but also giving freedom around body language to move in away that relates to that mood.
Emotional portrait photography aims to capture the subject’s inner emotions and feelings. It involves using various techniques to convey mood and expression through composition, lighting, and poses. The photographer may use close-up shots to emphasise the subject’s facial expressions or body language to convey their emotions but it’s important the model can also convey that feeling through their actions.
The use of different angles, such as low-angle shots or high-angle shots, can also create a particular emotional effect. The photographer may also focus on the subject’s eyes to convey a sense of intensity or vulnerability or use monochrome for a certain feeling.
Emotional portrait photography is about capturing the essence of the subject’s emotional state and conveying it through the visual medium of photography, but is only possible with a collaboration between the model and photographer.
The shot below is from this with actor and model Kaitlyn where we collaborated on a shoot with a melanconly vibe on the beach, this shot capturing that ‘essence’ of what we were going for.