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Unconventional Portraits Photography

Updated on March 28, 2015

Unconventional Portraits Photography

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Unconventional portraiture is portrait photography but from an unusual angle and with unusual perspectives. The subject is still the same as in portraits; people, but how they are posed and the medium in which their images are captured is very different.

The more unusual the pose the better it adheres to the theme. Pose subjects laying down, with you at ground level, from above, and from below the subject. Use props that are as unique as the pose or better if the props are antique looking.

Look for locations that offer out of the ordinary scenery such as lakes, mountains, snow covered forest, rock formations, rock staircases or pathways ,even old architectural structures such as those found in many churches. Old barns are quite suited for the theme also as are sandy locations such as the dessert or beaches.

Great props can be found at many antique stores and old weathered surfaces show up well in these shots. Consider using a digital editing software to render the background in monochrome and the main subject in color or vice verse.

Do some of the shots in low light such as dusk or dawn, during rainstorms, fog and so on. Take advantage of the location and use it to your advantage. Your techniques should adapt to the environment as it will not adapt to you.

The portraits can be done using many different settings and with many different mediums such as black and white, color, film, digital. In silhouette form, full body, half face. The beauty of unconventional portraiture is that any image that can be done of a person and can fit the theme.

There is no alternative if pursuing this theme but to be creative with your images.The use of unconventional make up is also very advisable. Draw designs on your subjects, use them as a canvas, use unconventional clothing and hair styles. Whatever seems to be out of the ordinary and doesn't seem to fit the scene or the subject.

Also suitable for the theme is to record images of body parts like the mouth, the hands, the chest and so on. For these scenes you should use appropriate jewelry props or body paint as the lack of them can render the images as simple nude portraits.

Make sure to include images of subjects in un-posed situations as if they were unaware of being photographed.

A good perspective with which to approach the theme is to view the images as if they were meant for decorative purposes or rather as pieces of art. You can also do images that appear as abstract art. So long as the images are recognizable as being that of people, the topic still applies.

Images that show people doing odd or strange things, images of people doing everyday functions such as smoking a cigarette, walking, driving, and relaxing are all acceptable types for this unconventional style of portraiture too.

Some of the best posing techniques for this style are glamour shots, but instead of posing the model in their entirety in very revealing poses, the emphasis should be on just parts of the face or parts of the body, in mostly shadows to reveal just enough but again props and different perspectives should be used so as not to make the images appear as other photographic techniques.

CC BY-ND 3.0
CC BY-ND 3.0 | Source

Once you have the images finalized and have critiqued them from a technical and aesthetic viewpoint, you should select the best ones and use them to submit to any of the many photographic editorials and to photo stock houses.

Fine art galleries are good places to showcase your work and this is usually for a percentage of the sale of each print.

You can also use this style to do conventional events especially photographing weddings. Brides are always longing for photographs that will stand out from the everyday posing techniques and make their special day be extraordinary.

Many more suggestions, tips and techniques!

Take advantage of the new technique and advertise yourself as such; an unconventional wedding photographer.

CC BY 3.0.Digitally edited to comply with TOS. You may see original by following link
CC BY 3.0.Digitally edited to comply with TOS. You may see original by following link | Source


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Cat R: thank you

    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 6 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.