You can take an average picture of an extraordinary thing or an extraordinary picture of an average thing. Simply looking at a beautiful landscape is at one level, while seeing the many details of the picture in front of you is a much deeper level. The same concept applies to looking at a photograph and also to taking the photograph. A camera may simply be pointed at a scene and the shutter pressed, or very careful in-camera cropping may be used to include only those things desired and to exclude those not desired. Objects may be purposely added to or removed from, or even moved within the scene. Lighting may be only available light or very elaborate artificial light.
These same ideas can be applied to photographing people. Pointing a camera and taking a simple snapshot of a person can record the moment. A more pleasing photograph can result from careful composition with attention to foreground and background and lighting. A great photograph may be captured of a spontaneous moment or may be staged and posed. Most portraits are best made with careful consideration of the background and lighting along with posing the person being photographed. If the client is not a professional model or actor, talking continuously with the client to carefully adjust the pose in the photo will help take away the “deer in the headlights” look that many people get in front of a camera.
These are several photographs made during a shoot while my wife and I were in North Carolina baby-sitting our granddaughters to give their nanny a break. I thought the nanny looked gorgeous and asked if I could photograph her. She said she gets very nervous when having her photograph made but was not the least bit nervous when distracted by continual posing instructions. Don’t you think she looks great?! The best way to view the photographs is to click on an individual thumbnail.