So today, while getting a haircut, I began thinking about portraiture and what common threads there are in a truly fine portrait. In every kind process there is a end customer that has to find value in what your providing, and if you focus on meeting those needs, youll be successful. So in a portrait, its the person in front of the camera that matters. Like in fashion, its the clothes... but in this case its the person.

I think there are two common qualitys that make a sucesfull portrait from the viewpoint of the your subject:
1- You make them look great.
2- Somehow, you capture some part of their personality in a shot. You show them in their true, yet flattering way.

I think #1 is about skill and experience, and is doable, but #2 is harder. If you dont know the person , or just met them, how do you capture their true essence in film?

What got me thinking about this was recently I was looking at my portfolio, and theres one common series of photographs that EVERY one comments on. They were taken on 35mm film, nothing fancy. The model is striking of course, but not any more striking than most models working today. The difference was that I was in love with this woman, and what I captured was that moment. I somehow transferred those feelings from my body, through the lens onto film.

That leads me to my question, what if anything do you all do to capture someones soul on film, assuming you dont know the subject well? Do you try to have coffee with them first? Talk on the phone? make out? What?