Though Kerry Park provides a famous view of Seattle’s skyline, John Keatley used the viewpoint’s cloudy skies as a backdrop for this portrait of reconciliation leader John Perkins to remove distractions, focusing the image.
Photographers all have different styles, reflecting the way they see things and what interests them. While some photographers strive for a sense of authenticity in their subjects, I am often looking to create a feeling or a story, based on my own ideas and not necessarily reality.
Though we all have different approaches to photography, several basic ideas and practices can improve your portraits, if you take the time to try them.
It’s better to make these changes before you take the picture than ignore them and regret it later. This may seem like a lot to process. But once you practice these simple steps, the difference between a boring snapshot and a great portrait will be only a few extra seconds of your time.
John Keatley is a freelance photographer whose clients include Time, Newsweek, Starbucks, and Miir bottles. To set his portrait subjects at ease, he sometimes sings opera or shows them a giant photo of a cat face. You can view more of his work at keatleyphoto.com.