Category Archives: 4 – An Active Portrait

An Active Portrait

This is one of a series of portraits I took during a family party I wanted to capture people interacting in as natural a way as possible. After a while people had forgotten I was taking pictures and I captured this picture of Susan deep in conversation. I really like her expression and the way she is making her point with her hands. I think the framing with her head in the right third of the frame and her had clipping the left edge as she looks past her hand of the frame at whoever she was talk to.


The one question in my mind is whether this really is an activity portrait where the subject is aware she is being photographed or whether it really should be classed as an image where the subject is unaware she is being photographed.

My view is that it counts as a portrait because I told people in advance I was going to photograph them. One thing that perhaps might have improved this image would have been to use a slower shutter speed so that some slight motion blur in her hands would add to the sense of an animated conversation. The fingers of her right hand are slightly blurring but not enough for this to standout to a casual viewer.