Photos of the Week

Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week

January 3, 2022

By Jacqueline Tobin

Portrait photography can run the gamut in type and style—everything from the traditional “head and shoulders” shot to lifestyle and environmental, candid and street, glamourboudoirmaternity sessions and much more. View some of the eye-catching portraits and photos that stopped us in our tracks this week, including insights from the photographers on how they used central composition to direct our gaze on their subjects.

When Lucie Bulois was hired to shoot an engagement session for a New York City-based couple, she took them to the High Line, a raised promenade near the Hudson River, full of plant life and sculptures and that used to be an abandoned train track. “As we were walking, the couple told me we could see their apartment from there, and I thought it’d be cool to end their session on their fire escape to add a personalized touch and a true New York feel,” says Bulois, who stayed on the High Line as they headed home, then photographed them with her zoom lens using central composition.

engaged couple on a fire escape in new york city by lucie b photography
© Lucie B. Photography

“We took their engagement photos at sunrise, but by the time we took that last photo, the sun was already high in the sky and pretty harsh,” Bulois notes. “I asked them to look at each other while climbing the stairs so their profiles would be lit the same way.” Bulois was a ways away, so in order to get the look she wanted, she had to yell out directions or use sign language to communicate what she was looking for.

josh pruitt portrait of two models using central composition

Josh Pruitt of IVYWILD VISUALS, a wedding photographer, also collaborates with models for creative portraits shoots. When he linked up with these two for a day of portraits, Pruitt says, “I was trying to make a point to collaborate with my subjects more in hopes to create something more creatively unique and substantial. I found that it allowed for the models to come out of their shells and express more through their craft.”

Here, Pruitt and the models wanted to explore the dynamics of an emotional connection between two people who, as he describes, “don’t have the capacity to carry each other anymore.” He focused on their twisted, intermingled pose by centrally composing the shot.

central composition of bride on stairs
© Fernando Agundis

Fernando Agundis was in San Luis Potosí, a city in central Mexico, to photograph a wedding. After the bride had finished getting ready, Agundis wanted to capture portraits of her with this architecturally captivating staircase. “I took some photos [of her] going down and going up, however I felt I had to integrate it into the composition and that’s how I got to this result,” using central composition to pin the bride as the focus amid the angular scene surrounding her.

Jonathan Coates likes to cap off the photo slideshows he delivers to his wedding couple clients with a “cool night shot,” something expressive that he can capture with his flash. This couple married in a beautiful church in a small English village, followed by celebrations at a pub, and “as luck would have it, it started to rain,” Coates says, “and I knew a backlit rain shot had to be made.”

wedding couple in rain holding umbrellas outside
© J S Coates

Coates figured the streets were deserted enough to place them in the middle, framing the couple between the buildings and using the street lights and shop windows around them to add some pops of bokeh. “The magic sprinkle was always going to be the lit up rain,” he says. “With Lucy being pregnant, there was no way I was going to ask her to be in the rain without an umbrella, so we picked two cool-looking umbrellas and went outside.” Coates tried a few different positions but ended up liking a central composition that drew the viewer to the pure joy on the bride and groom’s faces, “a combination of happiness from the day and laughter on watching me get absolutely soaked,” Coates adds.

“I placed a flash on a stand at about 1/16 power around 10 feet behind the couple,” he explains. “This illuminated the rain drops, the side of the buildings and separated the couple from the background. My second shooter then used an LED light to light up the couple from the front, just out of shot on camera right.”

wedding couple captured with a drone on a cliffside
© Glen Nicholls

The wind picked up on this cliffside as Glen Nicholls sent his drone up into the air. The photographer admits that these are “never great conditions to fly a drone in, but,” he adds, “I just knew this epic location would bring the goods, especially from above.”

He was intent on photographing a pair of newlyweds from the bird’s-eye view perspective. “All I said was, ‘Hey guys, how do you feel about going near the cliff and, umm…lying down?’ I think they could tell by the excited look on my face that I was planning something epic. Once they were in and got comfy, it was just a matter of composing the shot, keeping the drone steady in the wind and capturing it.”

Dig into our Photo of the Day archives for even more compelling and eye-catching portraits and creative photo concepts.