Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: July 4, 2013

How to Capture Authentic Emotion in Portrait Photography

We have just completed another successful Portrait Course with some great students and exceptional images. We teach the technical aspects of portrait photography but also the, as important, working with the subject to get the best out of them, we call it ‘posing and all that’. The next course will be in the autumn but if you want some tips before then this article by  on Lightstalking would be useful to you.

If you shoot portraits on a regular basis, I’m sure you have an informal checklist of sorts that you consult — at least mentally — both before and after you click the shutter. You want to make sure the composition is interesting, the desired part of the face is in focus, the lighting is flattering; all important things, to be sure. And on some level, these are easy things. What’s not always so easy is capturing emotion.

When you’re shooting street shots or candids, capturing genuine emotion isn’t too difficult because you’re recording moments as they happen and your subjects are often unaware of or unconcerned with the camera’s presence. But when it comes to actually posing for a portrait session, getting authentic emotion out of your subject can be a tricky course to navigate. Many otherwise easy-going individual tend to tense up once they get in front of the camera while, on the opposite end of the spectrum, others go overboard with exaggerated smiles or all manner of unpredictable and unflattering facial expressions.

It takes a little effort — mostly in the form of simply being a thoughtful photographer — but getting your subjects to display some unfiltered emotion is certainly an attainable goal and one with a huge payoff. The following tips apply whether your portraits are formal or spur of the moment, for pay or for fun.….MORE




©Tony Haupt  OSP Portrait Course

Click Here: How to Capture Authentic Emotion in Portrait Photography

Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award calling for entries

Photojournalists and documentary photographers have until 30 September for a chance to win a €50,000 grant dedicated to the production of a new body of work on Iran. 

“Created in 2009, the purpose of the Carmignac Gestion photojournalism award is to grant €50,000 in funding for a photo reportage carried out over a period of several months on a specific, topical subject,” say the organisers of one of the largest photojournalism grant programme. “With the profession in the grips of an unprecedented financing crisis, and the risks taken by freelance photographers the subject of much debate, the Carmignac Gestion Foundation wished to sponsor the delving work of photojournalists. Their dedication to depicting the truth requires knowledge of the country and experience of the terrain in order to represent the situation in all its complexity.”

 After themes around Pakistan, Palestine and Zimbabwe, Carmignac Gestion is calling for photographers to submit projects on Iran for its fifth edition. The deadline for entry is 30 September.

This year, the panel of jurors will include François Hebel of Les Rencontres d’Arles, photographers Reza and Jérôme Sessini as well as Christian Caujolle and Mark Sealy among many others. writes Olivier Laurent in the BJP

For more details, visit the Carmignac Gestion website.
Our dear friend Kazem Hakimi published a book on Iran a few years ago


Press Photographer of the Year Awards

Phil Coomes on the BBC website has a feature on the Press Photographer of The Year Awards

Press photographers are a talented bunch. Day in, day out they give life to photographs that capture the world around us. From the front lines to the backstreets, from breaking news to sport, they are charged with making a captivating picture from a wide variety of situations, all usually against a tight deadline.

The Press Photographer’s Year competition is run in association with the British Press Photographers’ Association (BPPA). Now in its seventh year, it sets out to “demonstrate that even in an age of rolling television news, internet and satellite communication, the traditional still image burns the keenest, fastest impression on the public conscience and is the most effective way to show the world the world as it really is”. I can agree with that…...MORE

Here are just a few images to whet your appetite


David Levene’s picture of U2’s Bono for the Guardian was awarded first place in the Arts category.


Laura Collett jumping Stonehenge on Natterjack at the Barbury International Horse Trials in Marlborough by Andy Hooper took first place in the Sports Feature category.



While covering the conflict in Syria, Rick Findler photographed a group of members of the Free Syrian Army launching concrete blocks into a compound housing President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Aleppo.



Andrew McConnell’s pictures from Gaza were awarded first prize in the Photo Essay section.

See the rest of the winners here