A good looking portrait is not just about a pretty face. In fact, there are so many other elements to it. Besides the person in the frame, lighting, location, and the subject’s expression are important to consider. A portrait springs to life when the subject’s pose is dynamic. An effective way you can do this is by adding in a little bit of action with motion. You might think action and portraits do not mix well, but this is how you go about trying something out of the box. Take for instance the following image taken by photographer Anna Ulman.
Ulman has some of the most graceful subjects a photographer could hope for. Her stunning portraits feature contemporary ballerinas performing graceful movements in urban environments. Sometimes they wear street clothing and sometimes they don the traditional leotard and pointe shoes, but the result is always stunning.
Check out some of her best photos and don’t forget to follow her on Instagram at @anna_ulman.
“One day I saw a photo on the Internet, where the ballerina was dancing in the middle of the street. I was amazed at the flexibility of her body and her graceful movements. And I realized that if we combine our photography skills with the talent of the ballerina together, we will have endless opportunities for creativity,” she said.
Considering this genre of photography interesting and fascinating, Ullmann approaches his images with some layout, but leaves room for spontaneity.
“I always try to plan my photography in advance, but the best ideas usually come to me unexpectedly,” she admits. “Each dancer is unique and they all inspire me with different ideas.”
Ulman took the image using her Canon 6D at 135mm F/2, with a 1/500-second exposure and ISO 125.
Thanks to her skillful pose and her long hair in motion, the ballerina beautifully stands out in the image. Her composure, strength, and posture might even make you confuse her for a tenacious anime character.
Besides the brilliant subject, the colors that Ulman has achieved in the background are equally stunning. The gentle and warm colors add so much character to the image and complement the subject.
This image is a testament to the fact that it’s not just the photographer who makes a photo brilliant. The subject has an equally important role to play. What do you think?