Simplicity With Style Is Elegance

“Perfection is achieved, Not when their is nothing more to add, but nothing left to take away”.  In our digital, Photoshop World many of us have forgot that elegance is about simplicity.  Elegance and style in a portrait are about directing the viewer’s eye to the area of greatest importance (the face of the subject) while eliminating everything that distracts the viewer’s eye from the face.  As business people many photographers forget the sales power of images with a larger facial size and too often associate elegance with the body, the clothing over the body and/or the scene or background.

Some of the most elegant portraits I have ever seen don’t show the clothing or have clothing that isn’t notice and have little or nothing in the background.  Amazing lighting, a fantastic pose  and a beautiful face, that is perfection.  It’s not only perfection but salable perfection.  Like every photographer (especially senior photographers) I do a huge variety of full length and three-quarter pose that are so beautiful for photographers to look at, but not salable to older clients like mom’s and grandmothers, which just happen to hold the purse-strings.

When I schedule models (seniors in our area) for samples I spend the majority of my time creating and experimenting with ideas that are composed from the waistline up.  Shouldn’t we be the most skilled at the portraits that put the most money in our pockets?  Shouldn’t we focus the greatest amount of our efforts in creating the portraits that have the greatest chance of selling?  So many photographers look at head and shoulders portraits as the portraits they have to do to get to the “more exciting” full length poses. Art must merge with business and as business people we need to create.


~ by jeffsmithbooks on February 26, 2010.

2 Responses to “Simplicity With Style Is Elegance”

  1. The majority of the images I create are above the waist, and like you described with a simple background, for the very same reason that you describe. But do you agree also that we need to create the images that will draw the students to the studio (photographer) and many times these are not head and shoulder or closer images?

    • Yes and no. I think you have to show a variety of styles that appeal to all tastes, but I think photographers push for full length poses more than clients. Our most popular, most requested and most memorable images to our seniors are the extreme fashion close-ups. In our advertising, our studio and in our displays we show the variety of images as they sell in the studio. About 30% of the images are full length, 40% variations of the fashion close-up ideas and 30% everything in between. You can’t argue with sales figure and they don’t have bias, they reflect the real feeling our your clients.

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