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Rocky Nook

Authentic Portraits: Searching for Soul, Significance, and Depth

Authentic Portraits: Searching for Soul, Significance, and Depth

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An honest and personal book about creating better portraits and becoming your best self.

The most successful portraits take us well beyond the surface of how someone looks and show us the inner essence of who someone is. They reveal character, soul, and depth. They uncover hidden hopes and profound truths, revealing that authentic and deeply human light that shines within. And while technical expertise is undoubtedly important, it's not the light, camera, or pose that creates a great portrait. It's you, and it's the connection you create with the subject that makes all the difference.

In Authentic Portraits, photographer Chris Orwig teaches you that the secret to creating meaningful portraits is simple: curiosity, empathy, kindness, and a bit of technique. While Chris spends significant time on the fundamentals of "getting the shot"--working with natural light, nailing focus, dialing in the correct exposure, effectively posing and directing the subject, intentionally composing the frame--he also passionately discusses the need for personal development, creative collaboration, and connection with the subject. Because who you are directly and deeply affects what you create, and it is only through cultivating your own inner light that you will be able to bring it out in your subjects.

Filled with instruction, insight, and inspiration, Authentic Portraits is an honest and personal book about creating better frames. It's also about becoming your best self. Take the journey, and you'll learn to find your vision and voice, bring intention to your photography and your life, embrace mystery, and understand the importance of gratitude and empathy. Along the way, you will teach the camera to see in a way that replicates how you feel, and you'll find you have all you need to create work of lasting significance.

Part 1: The Foundation of Authentic Portraiture
01: Authentic Portraits
02: Beneath the Surface
03: The Paradox of Portraiture
04: Harmony and Discord
05: Thread
06: The Search

Part 2: The Art of Authentic Portraiture
07: Light and Soul
08: Invisible Light
09: Defining and Cultivating Soul
10: Silence
11: Wabi Sabi

Part 3: Mastering Technique, Gear, and Light
12: Finding the Perfect Portrait Lens
13: Exposure Settings
14: Seven Principles of Natural Light
15: Working with Natural Light

Part 4: The Sitter and the Subject
16: Finding Subjects
17: Finding and Approaching People You Want to Photograph
18: Pre-Shoot Prep
19: Preparing Yourself
20: Photograph People, Not Labels

Part 5: Posing, Directing, and Connecting
21: Defining Your Directorial Style
22: Practical Posing Tips
23: Connecting with the Subject
24: Unlikely Inspiration for Connecting
25: The Four-Step Approach

Part 6: Camera Work
26: Composition
27: This to That

Part 7: Stepping Up Your Game
28: The Other Side of the Lens
29: Courage
30: Inner Art
31: Gratitude
32: FAQ
33: The Journey Ahead

Image Details

Author: Chris Orwig
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Published: 12/10/2019
Pages: 448
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 2.90lbs
Size: 9.20h x 7.30w x 1.20d
ISBN: 9781681983462

About the Author

Chris Orwig is a best-selling author, photographer, and teacher who blends a down-to-earth approach with technical expertise. Having authored six books and over 5,000 hours of online tutorials, Chris knows his stuff. But more importantly, he knows what matters most. After surviving a near-death experience at an early age, Chris realized that life is a gift, and that the camera is the perfect tool for savoring and celebrating the time we have. He regularly speaks on creativity and photography at conferences and workshops, and has presented at companies like Google, Facebook, and Adobe, as well as on the TEDx stage. He is also a member of Sony's elite Artisans of Imagery ambassador program. Whether capturing photographs, teaching, or writing books, Chris strives to inspire others to become more creative and lead more meaningful lives. Find out more at and on Instagram @chrisorwig.

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