And in the case of, The Art of People Photography: Inspiring Techniques for Creative Results
. They’d be completely right. The book’s cover is great. Perhaps the title is just wrong, if it were to be called ‘Quick Post Shot Techniques for Unique Portraits’ the content might match more closely with the description. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh.
The book contains some basic pointers about photographing people, but that’s that…they are basic. A few examples of their advice include: know your subject, understand that expression is more important then technical details, and men are perceived to look more powerful when shot from slightly below, while woman look more flattering when photographed from slightly above (in general). I’d have loved to see some more variety of poses, people, and unique shots of the posed portraiture illustrations that this book generally covers. The images in the book are all of pretty people, and like the author states, pretty sells better. Yet I find myself wishing for something more to look at. Pretty may sell better, but it is not always as interesting or captivating to look at. But that’s just my opinion.
There are primarily two things that prevent me from enjoying this book. The first issue for me, is the way the book is written. I don’t know what the writing style in this book is called, but I do know it gets very irritating after the first few pages. Let me explain further. This book has two author’s, Bambi and Skip (real names, I believe). No where do I come across Bambi’s voice. It seems Skip speaks for her. Littered throughout the book is Skip’s commentary on what Bambi does. E.g., “Profoto has been Bambi’s studio light choice…”; “Here Bambi photographed looking slightly down on the subject.”; or, “The last thing we want to suggest is posing cards, but Bambi does have a few favorite poses…”. Skip is clearly head of the Bambi Fan Club. It would have been easier to read if Skip was Bambi’s ghost writer and just wrote in the first person.
The second thing that I did not enjoy about this book was, sadly, the final images. They are heavily processed using some Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Photoshop. I have been using it for close to twenty years now. However, this is supposedly a book about people photography, not photoshop. Bambi (via Skip) tells us the plug in she uses, and mentions that its better to use a simple plug in then to spend the time it would take to create the same image using the controls within Photoshop. For me, a confident photoshop user, that is like a photographer telling me to use the Auto button on my camera because its a lot simpler then getting to know the manual controls.
When I come across a better book, I’ll be sure to let you know.