Tag Archives: Inspirational

16 Examples of Extraordinary Model Portraits

My near-future adventure into the world of photographing models has my gears turning, and I’ve been looking for examples of extraordinary model portraits. A lot of stuff I found out there is somewhat generic with lighting and pose — and maybe because that’s what works for the client. But as an art photographer, I felt a little empty with that kind of stuff. So I went in search of some extraordinary model photography.

What I found was that I’m most attracted to the portraits that stand out from the rest. The really unique stuff. I also found that the unique qualities can come from either the models themselves or the photographers. And when you combine a unique and talented model with a unique and talented photographer, you get magic.

The following selection of photos come from a mix of professional and amateur photographers. The models in the shots might also be a mix of professionals, amateurs, friends, and even the photographer taking the photo. Do note: a couple of the photos below are quite informal and the subject is not a model, but I included them because they are good examples of what could be done in a formal portrait situation.

You can also see my Flickr Gallery here.

Day One Hundred Forty One
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dustin Diaz

Creative Commons License photo credit: Luc D

First time with a Hasselblad
Creative Commons License photo credit: Carlo Nicora

Creative Commons License photo credit: checkmezov

Andreas Tilliander Makes His Move
Creative Commons License photo credit: Aeioux

Her Tangible Dream •.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Felipe Morin

Jesús Hidalgo10
Creative Commons License photo credit: Esther Marí

mallard pinup
Creative Commons License photo credit: MadMannequin

{ you're the only one !! }
Creative Commons License photo credit: graphistolage

Coleção Geometologia - Neandro Ferreira
Creative Commons License photo credit: André-Batista

Creative Commons License photo credit: Akbar Simonse

Creative Commons License photo credit: Carolina Parragué

The third eye
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tywak

Collab5 (Picture II)
Creative Commons License photo credit: TNT Photo

Oriol Lopez Sanchez 01 © studio.es
Creative Commons License photo credit: Vincent Boiteau

Let The Curtain Come Down
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gabriela Camerotti

Do you have any good examples of model portraits or other posed portraits? Feel free to drop your photos into the comments below. And if you have any favorites from fellow photographers, leave a link so we can check it out!

16 Frigid Sources of Inspiration

For those living in the upper reaches of the northern hemisphere, winter is approaching along with cold weather and snow! I spent a good portion of my life in North Idaho, and now that I live in San Diego I sometimes miss the winter weather. But then I remember that I wear t-shirts for 350 days/year, flip-flops are my main shoes, and my “winter coat” is a sweatshirt. So I’m pretty much okay with just a visit back home every so often.

But for you nut jobs who love the snow, I would encourage you to get out and photograph it this year. A snow covered landscape is really quite amazing, and the “white stuff” can completely change the mood of any location. Aside from the obvious landscapes, I’ve included a few “people shots” here to get your gears turning.

And if you have some good winter shots of your own, be sure to share them in the comments!

reflections (A)
Creative Commons License photo credit: camil tulcan

Winter Panorama - Kromme Rijn, Amelisweerd, Rhijnauwen, Utrecht
Creative Commons License photo credit: lambertwm

Iceberg - Ilulissat - Greenland
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ludovic Hirlimann

Creative Commons License photo credit: JC Labarca

frozen light in a snow weekend, MANZANEDA ☃
Creative Commons License photo credit: Paulo Brandão

Creative Commons License photo credit: enggul

I've reached the end of the world
Creative Commons License photo credit: Stuck in Customs

Aoraki Rappel
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dru!

Winter at the Lake
Creative Commons License photo credit: Brian Auer

Lone Wolf
Creative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney

Creative Commons License photo credit: Johan Rd

The Sound of Silence...
Creative Commons License photo credit: lapidim

Glacier Grey, Chile
Creative Commons License photo credit: * hiro008

Straumur Aurora
Creative Commons License photo credit: orvaratli

lonely tree in the snow...
Creative Commons License photo credit: santo rizzuto

Paris under the snow
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gregory Bastien

Dreaming of Photography — Unleashed

Last week I asked the readers “What Would You Do… If You Could?” as part of our weekly poll. This one was an essay question though, and we had a lot of great answers come out of it. The question was based around the notion of having no worldly obligations and what you would do as a photographer.

18 photographers chimed in to share their dreams and aspirations with the camera. I love the diversity in the answers from each of the photographers, and it’s difficult to say that any of them sound more enticing than the others. But I did say I’d pick a few of the comments and feature them in an article. Here are five exceptionally inspiring responses — plus my own response to my question.

Niels Henriksen

If I had my way and obviously money was not an issue I would hire some of the great photographers and travel with them to understand how they see and their approach to capturing images. I would not limit it to one type of genre, but would take it all in. Can you just imagine the dialogue you could have with them. I would want to go with them on professional shoots or just to their favorite places. This would be my nirvana.


Wonderful question this week Brain. My answer is pretty simple. It stems from my background as a CNA. If I could get over my shyness (which would be huge) I would work with people who don’t have a voice. Not mutes, but people in a restricted situation. I would document people in prisons, senior homes, mental hospitals. So often they are thought of as there labels. You don’t get to know the person behind that label. I’ve seen a ton of the elderly in senior homes, with their only family being their caretakers. No family ever comes by to see them. Most often they can’t socialize, but with their eyes. With prisoners, it would be a whole different issue, I’m not sure that I would have the guts to do it, but I’d love to meet them, and document their stories, and try to understand the psychology behind why they committed their crimes. With Mental patients, it would be trying to understand the person behind the illness. They are their illness, but it’s out of their control. I believe there is someone under that illness, but they can’t communicate it. Breaks my heart to think of it. I’ve got a dad with a severe bipolar problem, and he went through many mental hospitals, saw all sorts of crazy things, and thankfully all these years later, he is stable, and living in a home alone, and now can function normally, with medication. I don’t want to photograph models, or people that are already in the public eye, I want to show who it is, that we aren’t looking at. Of course if I ever partake in all this, it will be in a few years if ever. It’s just a dream right now, and I’m comfortable with it.


Take any long, complex process and follow it from start to end. Planning, construction and deployment – or decommissioning and tear-down – of a ship, oil platform, sewer system, bridge, particle collider, industrial plant … Or start to finish of an industrial development process, from R&D to the marketing of the finished thingy. Follow something longitudinally. Then, since I’m an utter hack and the sky’s the limit here, I’d have some of my favourite photographers in a Rolodex (I’d have to actually _get_ a Rolodex first, of course) to call on for advice and impromptu ideas on how to approach any specific situation or phase of the project, as well as blunt advice on my own attempts.


I would definitely do photojournalism. It has never been so easy for human beings to communicate and, yet, I think most of us (at least in the US) are more sheltered than ever. Sure, we have streaming video, podcasts, webcasts, but I still don’t think anything packs the same punch or tells the same story as the right photograph. Years from now, when we look at the conflicts and events that changed our lives and the world around us, we don’t remember videos. We remember single images… The young Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack, the US flag being raised over Iwo Jima, the “Times Square Kiss” after World War II, a young Chinese student standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square. The list goes on… That being said, I’d travel abroad to conflict zones and poverty-stricken areas of the world and do my best to tell the story of the voiceless. I want to put images in front of people that make them finally say “it doesn’t have to be this way”… I want to be able to make people leap out of their comfortable chairs and coddled lives to do something, anything, to make their world a better place. _That_ would be true success.

Luis Cruz

If I could, I would take portraits of street kids, beggars, and basically the people who roam the streets. Taking that a step further (and if I dare), I would follow them around for a week or so and document their daily lives. We pass these people almost everyday – on the way to work, school, or wherever else we go – but we barely realize they’re there. Worse (and I’m guilty of this too), we deliberately ignore them (especially when they tap on our windows and beg for loose change or food). I’m not sure how common this sight is in your area, but beggars seem to live on every major intersection here in my city. If I didn’t care about making a living (and wasn’t so worried about my safety), I’d be out there doing this now.

Brian Auer

At the moment my passion is for street photography and photowalking (which go hand-in-hand nicely). There’s something magical about a well executed street photo, and I need lots of practice before I can consider myself to be a street photographer. Over the last year, photowalking with local photographers has been a highlight of my life — so much inspiration and creativity can be captured just from being around other photographers in a relaxed setting. In addition to these two things, I love to travel — I’ve been all across the U.S., parts of Mexico and Europe, and I’m heading to Japan this fall. I want more. In my ultimate situation, I’d travel the world to meet up with local photographers and explore the places that they call home. Travel… make friends… take photos… have fun.

Thanks again to everyone who answered the poll question. We’ll have to do another essay question sometime in the future — this worked out better than I figured it would.

Use Google Desktop to Get Inspired

Looking at other people’s photos is a great way to learn and be inspired. The problem is that browsing through photos on places like Flickr or photophlow takes time away from doing other things. So here’s a solution that will keep you inspired while not totally interfering with your productivity while you’re on the computer.

First, get yourself the Google Desktop as part of the free Google Pack download by visiting the referral link below (hey, it helps pay for your birthday presents). This handy little piece of software runs in the background and it allows you to add all sorts of fun little gadgets to it.

Once you get the software loaded, pull up the Google Desktop as a sidebar. Of course this takes up some extra space, but it’s awfully handy (and it’s no big deal if you’re sporting a widescreen monitor). Two of the inspirational gadgets I use are the “Flickr Interesting Photos” and the “Flickr Desktop“. These two gadgets keep a constant flow of inspiration coming at me.

The first gadget mentioned (Flickr Interesting Photos) shows… interesting photos… from Flickr. It’s pretty self explanatory. These are usually photos from Flickr Explore, and they’re pretty darn good.

The second gadged mentioned (Flickr Desktop) does pretty much the same thing, but you can tell it what to show you by specifying which tags look for on photos. I really like this one because I can tailor it to my needs as they constantly change. For example, I set it to show “portrait” prior to and during the December Challenge. I’ve had it set to “Street Photography” for all of January so far. And as the February Challenge approaches, I’ll set it to look for whichever color I happen to be working on for the week.

With both of these gadgets, you can double click on the photo shown and it opens up the Flickr page for that photo in your browser so you can check it out and comment on it if you’d like. You can also change the interval timers of the gadgets and resize them to suit your needs.

All in all, these things are really handy to keep you thinking about photography while you’re plugging away on your computer. So try it out! Let me know what you think! And if you find any other great gadgets, let me know!