How a Celebrity Photographer Captures Personalities in New Light

As Jason Bell explains in the video below, photographing celebrities is both a privilege and a challenge. While it is obvious why this would be a privilege, the challenge with capturing a famous person comes from the fact that the subject is already well known by the public, as pictures of them have appeared time and time again—so the photographer needs to make the picture unique, to make it stand out. How? Bell explains in this video:

In the video, Bell gives a couple of examples of how he uses various tricks in order to make a well known face stand out and bring out something new in it. He gives the example of the British Royal Family, which he was recently commissioned to shoot. Since Bell considers them to be modern, fresh, he wanted the photo to reflect that:

celebrity photography

To make the Royal Family stand out in a down to earth way he used a warm afternoon sunlight in the photo; that, combined with their relaxed pose, made for a fresh look on the most famous family in the UK. And they were pleased with it as well, as Bell was called back for another session.

Bell also explains his most challenging shot to date, one of opera singer Johan Reuter. Once you see the photo, most of the dangers will become clear:

iconic personalities

As you might expect, the biggest peril was falling into the water; if either of them did, the team would have only 45 seconds to pull them out before they would die. Even outside of the obvious immediate danger, the photo was tricky to achieve since the different icebergs that Bell and his subject stood on were rotating, and it made the subject drift out of frame very quickly.

As a parting gift, Jason Bell gives photographers a piece of advice:

” […] try and get your portfolio to say one thing very clearly. Avoid the temptation to be all over the place.”

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