Casual Portraits

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
March 2, 2009 12:08pm CST
This weekend I got a frantic call from my son in college. He was working on a project and needed a head shot for it. His room mate took several but he did not like the looks of them. I searched my family photos and found one I took while he was engaged in a conservation with his brother. I was able to crop out the head shot and send it to him. I have found that the casual shot sometimes makes the best portrait shot. Have you done this with shots. My avatar is a casual shot my grand daughter took while I was waiting to capture a shot at a Birthday Party. Before this I tried several self shots and did not like any of them.
4 responses
• Australia
17 Mar 09
The line between formal and casual portraits is pretty blurry; less a matter of intent than outcome; if you use your skill to take a portrait that looks natural and relaxed, is that a casual shot? I don't think so... it can take a lot to achieve that casual look! On the other hand, I have some beautiful photos that look like studio portraits which were actually "grab shots" taken at a picnic. The rim lighting and lovely open shade have the look of carefully set up studio lights...
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
18 Mar 09
It does take a great deal of skill to take a formal portrait and make it loo casual. As you say the first thing you have to do is put the person at ease and get them to relax. My daughter goes to a photographer who is all digital and you pay for 1 hour of time (about $300) and then she gets the disk with the photos and she cap print or copy the CD as she chooses. By spending a hour with the photographer my granddaughter has time to play and dance and be herself while the photographer is taking the pictures. Very good photos.
• Hong Kong
3 Mar 09
yes, I also think casual portraits can be the best photo to represent a person. when people know they are taking portrait photo, sometimes they may be too nervous or too excited, they will show "unnatural" expression on their face.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
3 Mar 09
I am a professional Photographer and yet I had my childrens Graduation photos taken by someone else because he ws excellent at getting the kids to relax and look natural. Suc a talant is trly a gift and I know my limitations and wanted the best for my children.
• United States
2 Mar 09
You make a very good point about casual shots. My avatar is 'posed'. That is one of the goofiest expressions I've ever seen on my face.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
2 Mar 09
I know that it is very hard for me to relax when I know my photo will be taken.
@trickiwoo (2702)
• United States
3 Mar 09
I love taking casual shots! In fact, I don't like taking posed shots of people at all! I guess using a casual shot as a portrait can be a good idea... unless it's for a passport photo... they have really strict requirements for passport photos!