9 creative photo ideas to try in July 2014

Creative photo ideas for July: 05 Shoot a bike meet

Creative photo ideas for July: 03 Shoot travel portraits

Creative photo ideas for July: 03 Shoot travel portraits

With the holiday season kicking off, why not focus on portraiture this year?

As well as capturing the spirit of a place, it’s a great way of interacting with locals. US photographer Jonathan Castillo pretty much only shoots local people on his travels.

“I enjoy meeting new people, and travelling was a perfect opportunity to do that. Some friends were appalled that I went to places like the King Charles bridge in Prague or the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia and didn’t shoot any landscapes!”

How did Jonathan get over his shyness? “I have an 80-per-cent success rate of asking people to let me photograph them. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

“If you show people the type of work you do, then people can see you don’t have an ulterior motive and are more open to being photographed.”

Jonathan poses and directs all his subjects. “I tell them which direction to face, where to look, where to place hands and so on.

“If I want a more serious expression, I make sure I am giving off the same vibe. If you are serious and confident, people will follow your lead.”

SEE MORE: 10 common posing mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

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* Jonathan recommends mid-range prime lenses such as an 85mm f/1.8 and enthuses about the softer depth of field at wide apertures.
* Prime lenses also make you move around and think about composition more than when you’re standing still and zooming.
* Cluttered backgrounds kill good portraits, so recompose to avoid this – and watch out for stray objects sticking out of people’s heads.
* Think carefully about lighting. Jonathan takes along a relatively light ProFoto Acute B 600R flash pack with AcuteB head and Photek umbrella, but a sensitively used flashgun is a good alternative.

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