Cake
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    • That's beautiful, Meghan. What I love about it is a big light source to make transition from light to shadow gradual and soft; the light is off to the side enough that it creates shadows; there is not too much fill light, so the shadows are deep and dramatic. Her beautiful hair is well lit, she's looking intently right at the camera but her head is turned and chin is down, her body is not square to the camera. My kind of pose.

      I can see how, as a commercial photographer who needs to sell portraits, you can get a lot of customers with a shot like this because buyers want to look good. With this pose and lighting they do.

      My impression, however, is if you were on assignment for a magazine like TIME, you would have to tell a story about this person beyond a beautiful and professional-looking photo. I think that's where it gets most interesting. The most fascinating book I have ever read about this is Gregory Heisler's 50 Portraits. He tells the story and the lighting behind each iconic shot. He had to make Giuliani look commanding for the cover of TIME, LeBron look like an athletic monster for the cover of Sports Illustrated, Julia Roberts look gorgeous, and bring out Muhammad Ali's iconic personality.

      I have the book and you're welcome to borrow it. Even flipping through the pages and looking at lighting diagrams and different poses he tried is fascinating, but the short stories behind the portraits are amazing.

      I was on the phone with him last month and he agreed to do an interview with us. You should help me with the interview and we can ask him questions together. His book got something like 244 5-star reviews on Amazon.