The Power of Giving a Good Photo Portrait

There are few simpler or better gifts you can give than a good photo portrait of someone. Have you ever taken a good camera lens and tried?

That’s what I did throughout the weekend at Georgia Tech hackathon HackGT. I doubt many of the college-aged participants expected to have a photo shoot as they hacked away at their projects. But when they saw their photos, they almost always came way delighted and surprised.

Even with the abundance of smartphone cameras now, there is a shortage of good fine-tuned photography. With a good camera lens you can show a person a side of himself or herself that not even a mirror can capture. It can even make me look decent:

Lenses capture so many subtleties. They show parts and qualities of faces, bodies, and actions that are not visible to the naked eye typically. See the shadows, the color in the eyes, the shine of the hair? Something is added to my appearance which isn’t typically there.

Camera-shot photo portraits are inherently romantic. Even without editing, a well-shot photo (using a prime lens) looks glamorous and exotic. People become more beautiful, more complex, and more richly lit by their surroundings in good photos. This is art, after all, and photos (while more true to life than painting) are still types of idealization. And they elevate people.

Photos have a lot going for them, and they’re relatively easy to take. If you’re lucky enough to have a camera, you can make someone’s day by being bold enough to ask for a photo.

Photo by Alfonso Reyes on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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