Writing with Light

Forget Mugshots – 10 Steps To Better Portraits

Ahhhh….portraits…they scare me….a little. I’m not a portrait photographer but I do like taking “portraits” of people when I’m travelling. You learn a lot about a place and a culture from people. Being able to capture the essence of an individual and bring out their true character in an image really embodies the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Today Craft & vision releases its latest ebook, Forget Mugshots – 10 Steps To Better Portraits by David duChemin. I think I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of David’s books that what I enjoy most about the way he writes that I feel that he’s speaking directly to me…a direct interaction between teacher and student. In this case the teacher is a photographer whose living and calling for the last 6 years has been creating compelling portraits and people photographs for clients all over the globe.

In Forget Mugshots, David doesn’t discuss camera equipment or flashes he discusses the behavioural, emotional & aesthetic aspect of capturing truly remarkable portraits.  David duChemin walks the reader through the 10 Steps To Better Portraits and discusses each of these in detail from the point of view of someone whose taken great steps to convey a story through the eyes of their subject. The 10 Steps he covers are:

  • Relate
  • Wait For The Moment
  • Use the “Right” Lens (yes its gear but not in the way you think rather the unconventional may become conventional)
  • Use More Than One Frame
  • Understand The Smile
  • Watch The Eyes
  • Play With The Light
  • Control Your Background
  • Get Level
  • Pose Carefully

David discusses the value of waiting for that great moment (and how to make sure you don’t miss it), how a true smile differs from a fake one, and other solid insights that are guaranteed to give you tangible ideas to make the most of your next portrait shoot. Combining these steps with Portrait Profiles and Creative ExercisesForget Mugshots will help you photograph real people in the real world, leveraging the techniques and best practices that have made David’s portraits known around the world.

Special Offer on PDFs
For the next five days only, use the promotional code MUGSHOTS4 when you checkout so you can have the PDF version of Forget Mugshots for only $4 OR use the code MUGSHOTS20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. You can Click Here to purchase and download the book. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST March 17, 2012

11 responses

  1. Great tip. It’s a very good series.


    March 13, 2012 at 8:06 am

  2. These are always good books. Looks like I need to do some shopping today!


    March 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

  3. Edith, the more and more I travel and hone my skills, the more and more I want to take portraits of awesome locals. I am going to email myself to get this book when I get home. Thanks E!


    March 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

    • Thanks Adam. I really got a lot out of this one. David’s an incredible photographer and writer and you really can’t beat the price.


      March 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

  4. What I like – and how they get’cha – is that it’s $4. You usually get allot for that money too.

    Maybe I need to write on eBook on how to take mugshots… I bet those cards with the numbers on them make good reflectors 🙂


    March 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

  5. for $4, I might have to pick it up… that definitely won’t break the bank 🙂


    March 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

  6. Great review Edith, you are gifted to present us the uniqueness of eBooks. Great info!


    March 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

  7. Rich McPeek

    Thanks for sharing this post Edith! I have several friends and family who want me to do portraits of their kids this spring/summer and this will be a great help for a “rookie” portrait photog like myself!


    March 14, 2012 at 5:52 am

  8. Nice review Edith! May be one of my next purchases!


    March 14, 2012 at 7:24 am

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