Vision In Focus » Brand Photography and Business Portraits from Cynthia August Images

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  • Cynthia August is a Portrait Photographer in Boston.

I think a lot about taking pictures of people. You’d hope that I do, huh?

She’s thinking too.

Anyway, the interesting thing about that, or at least the thing that I wanted to share with you – is that I while do spend time thinking about the technical aspects of the shot (where, how, with what lights and clothes and stuff), I also spend a lot of time thinking about the person. Actually, I spend more time on that than any other part of the process.

Which may sound weird, but hear me out in the form of a question: What is the one thing that is unique in a portrait? Is it all the technical aspects? Well, honestly, no, not really. There are certain photography techniques that really work well, and most great photographers use them in some way. Is it the clothes someone wears or how their hair is styled? That can help with expressing individuality, but the ingredients listed above are nothing without the binding substance – the one truly unique thing that can never be recreated or replaced – the person, present in the moment the image is made.

So really, everything else is just window dressing. The person I’m going to see truthfully as we shoot – that magical, complex ball of carbon, soul and spirit – is the most important thing to consider, respect and celebrate.

After the appropriate considerations are made, the rest falls into place.

Every time.




Dancers in the Grand Ballroom, 2011
Dancers in the Grand Ballroom, 2011

Its the first few weeks of the new year; the first gentle blanket of snow falls and the air finally turns cold.

Winter is a well-deserved break for the earth, a time to rest and recharge, reflect on the months past and prepare for what lies ahead.

I usually take some time during January to review the previous year’s work and set new goals. It is a lot of fun to go back over all the images and look at them with a little distance. I often notice new details or see a picture in a completely different way. The picture above is a good example. We worked hard to get all the elements in place for this deliberately soft shot, and I was happy with it then, but now, I love it.

I wish you all a fresh new perspective or two in the coming weeks.