IN YER FACE – The fine art of intimate portrait photography

IN YER FACE – The fine art of intimate portrait photography

How to bring out the inner beauty in your subjects – five photography tips from a professional.

#1. Start by establishing a close personal connection with your subject to overcome their inhibitions. Build a connection by commenting on their complexion, hair style or facial hair, neck, nose, teeth, and any unusual facial features or skin blemishes. Make sure they are aware that you want to get really up close and personal.

#2. Make sure the lighting brings out the best in your subject. Less is more – less light allows you to use dark shadows to enhance the depth of their eye sockets or the nuances of their nasal cavities. Neck flab can take on a deep texture like waves in the ocean. With the right shadows even ears can become mysterious caves.

#3. Bring out the full potential of their nose by getting right up and under it – an intimate camera under the nose can turn a regular nose into an impressive snout. Aim to give the feeling that the nose was leaving greasy marks on the camera lens when the shot was taken. Leave the audience squinting to see some nose hair or snot, and feeling like they are in with a fighting chance of seeing both.

#4. The eyes are the window to the soul. Encourage your subject to session up before the shoot and get really wasted. When the eyes are red the soul is free to expose itself on camera. Then really focus in on their eyes to turn a regular photo into an intimate masterpiece.

#5. Capture your subjects most revealing facial expressions – it could be a smile or a frown, but sooner or later your subject will let down their guard and reveal their deepest intimacies and true personality. Make sure you nail that moment on your memory card, so you can share it with all your friends.


Ian Gregson is a professional portrait photographer and crypto-currency investor from Wellington, New Zealand.
In between water skiing, sunbathing and counting his wedge he likes to watch YouTube videos about taking intimate personal shots and is currently developing a new website portal to replace Google called