How do you create ‘that look’ when shooting portraits? Perhaps an example that may feel a bit too extreme for some, but certainly one that has proven effective for me, over and over, is to suggest to the person you are shooting that they have just ran into a large spider web and they are trying desperately to get both the spider and the cobwebs off of their face. That was certainly the suggestion here and I think it’s fair to say that the idea did in fact produce a really believable candid moment, capturing a gesture that suggests that we are witness to some truly happy news or the punchline of a great joke.
In this instance, during one of my photography workshops in Myanmar, my driver and translator is telling the woman to act as if she is trying to break free from a large spider and its web. As her arms started flailing, a natural and spontaneous laughter erupted from others that were in the room, so who is to say that the ‘moment’ I captured isn’t real? Let the magic work! You keep shooting!
Nikon D500 Nikkor 18-300mm, 120mm, F/7.1@ 1/320 sec. 800 ISO.