Portrait Inspiration

Shooting portraits can be a hard thing to do without inspiration.  Typically, my photographs tell a story or have a certain theme.  So how do you find inspiration when your feeling ‘creatively blocked?’

Well, websites like Pinterest have great sections dedicated to photography and thanks to their new update you can use suggestions to help you find what you’re looking for.  Even skimming through the Photography section on the website is a great way to see how other photographers shoot the same thing; portraits.  There are many other photo media outlets on the web today like Flickr and Viewbug that allow you to interact with photographer’s from across the globe.  So here are a few ideas when it comes to finding inspiration for your next shoot.

Inspiring Resources

  • Photoblogs: Photo blogs are a great way to read up on how others approach their clients and shoots on a daily basis.  Reading through some of these can be a great idea to spark your next photoshoot.
  • Flickr: As mentioned above, Flickr allows you to follow and connect with other photographers around the world. They have a great section called Explore where you can find popular images for certain dates and skimming through some of these images is just one of the methods I personally use to find inspiration.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is a perfect way to ‘pin’ your favourite links and ideas to one place.  It allows you to place everything onto one ‘board’ and from there you can access the links to the websites they originally came from.  While others use pinterest just to pin, I highly suggest clicking through the links as you may find a great blog or article with tips for your next shoot.
  • 500px: This website is one of the best ways to get in touch with portrait and editorial work.  Even using pinterest to find 500px users is a great idea as this can lead to inspiration.
  • Other photographers: Using these social media sites, I like to scroll through my favourite photographers’ photos and think to myself “what could I have done at this shoot?” Now you shouldn’t copy others work; however thinking this way can spark things like finding another way to use a certain prop.
  • Props: That brings us to props; Balloons, Gum, Ladders… every day house hold objects can create an interesting shoot if your willing to look at a different way of using them; Instead of filling balloons with helium; leave them scattered on the ground.
  • Telling a story: Telling a story with your photograph is one of the most powerful ways to approach portraiture. Using a model to capture the emotion behind a story can create the perfect picture.

KMKevin Murphy Shoot

This shoot was inspired by a hair salon.  Just walking through the salon and thinking ” what could I use in here to make a cool photograph?  If you’re lucky; the salon will let you shoot inside like I was able to!  Many hair companies have product displays and even creating old photographs in a new concept can turn into something cool.

These are just a few of the ways I find my inspiration.  Take a look through these sites and question yourself whenever you shoot.  Try to do things from a different angle.  Shoot from above; Shoot from below.  It’s all about how you perceive the photograph.  Look at a photograph and think of ways to use the props in the shoot or try to recreate an image in your own unique way!

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