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Sunday Traveler: Troy Floyd – Portraits Around The World

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This is a Guest Post by Troy Floyd of www.foggOdyssey.com. I had been following Troy’s website for a while and finally got a chance to meet him in New York last year. My weakest area as a photographer has always been taking photographs of people, which is exactly what Troy has excelled in. His portrait shots of people from around the world are absolutely stunning. I ask him to do a guest post of his best portrait work and provide some background behind each image.

You can find him on Facebook and Twitter

Gary recently asked me if I would do a guest-post on his website featuring portraits I have taken while traveling the last few years. To be honest, I only started focusing my photography on people this last year because I got tired of taking the typical tourist shots of the places I visited. I started to get bored and felt like I really couldn’t do justice to the Eiffel Tower in Paris that someone else hadn’t already done. I mean seriously what new angle was I going to find that someone else hadn’t done 100x already at the Taj Mahal? I wanted to do something different in my photos/travels and portraits of people has been that outlet for me.

I, like most people, am self-taught and everything I learned was either from trail-and-error or from reading about other peoples work that I liked. I constantly try and reach out to other photographers, asking questions or seeing if I can spend a day with them photographing. This is how I learned the technically stuff I needed to get better with my camera. One of the single best things I did was learn how to use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos in post-processing. It brought my photography up 3 levels just by doing that! Recently this last year I started using off camera flash to capture my portraits but one can easily use natural light for portraits when traveling and get great results as well.

The single BIGGEST question I get about my work with people is “How do you get people to pose for your photos?” I wish I had a magic formula for it but I don’t. My response to most is “I just ask them if I can take their photo, it’s really that simple for me” and I think that is what most people don’t do. I know it’s not easy asking a stranger for something, especially when you might not speak the same language but the only real way your ever going to get people photos is by asking. Once you get over your fear, then the creativity can start! Other travelers tell me all the time that the one thing they wished they’d taken more of when traveling are photos of people. When I ask them why they didn’t, most respond, “Because I’m always to scared to ask!”

Below are 20 photos that I have taken in the last few years during my travels. #1 starts when I didn’t know much and it finishes with #20 where I am currently at in Medellin, Colombia. If you are the type who wants to do more portraits of people in your travels but lack the confidence to do so then maybe the below examples will help you some or you’ll learn a few tricks I learned along the way. If you got questions, please fire away, as everything I know about photography I learned from others who took the time to stop and help me.

(1) Singapore - Cosplay in The Park (click the photo to see more on this)

While staying in Singapore for a week I came across a strange phoneme called “Coslpay”, it’s basically people who dress up as their favorite Asian cartoon character. There was a big event at a park across from my hostel, so I quickly grabbed my camera and wanted to see what I could get photo wise. This was my first attempt at photographing a group of people and was a perfect random time to start, as everyone there was very open to tourist taking photos of them. All I had to do was walk up and ask!

Lesson Learned: That asking is all it takes and once you get over your fear of it, it becomes easy!

Finding events like this while you travel is the best way to get people shots easily. Everyone at this event was there to show off their costume, so naturally they were very open to photographs being taken.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(2) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Young Private Old Sergeant (click the photo to see more on this)

This is my favorite photo from Malaysia. It’s not a technically perfect photo but what it lacks in that area it makes up for it in subject matter.

Lesson Learned: I learned two things from this shot:

1) That traveling around with cute Western girls helps get access with local military or police. I always want photographs of this kind when in a new country but found as a man asking for permission to take a portrait of them is hard because I am normally told no but when a cute girl walks up and asks if they can have a photo with them, that almost 98% of the time they will say yes and that allows me a foot into the door!

2) That asking them to move is ok! I didn’t want a boring shot of two guys standing there, so I took the boring shot first because that was what they wanted to see then asked them if I could have a photo of each of them by their self. I placed the young private to one side and left the old sergeant in the background. This simple photo tells a story in a way, as the young private might one day be the old sergeant in the background. Here I learned the power of not just taking a photo but planning one out in my head to say something, to mean something.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(3) Chiang Mai, Thailand - Karen Padaung Long Neck Hilltribe

While in Thailand in 2009 I made a trip north to Chiang Mai. During my stay there I visited a village known to have women who put these rings on their necks. The Padaung escaped from Burma to Thailand in the mid to late 1900’s and are refugees of the political turmoil.

Lesson Learned: I learn the Rule of Thirds.

This is one of the first techniques most new photographers learn when starting out, that placing the subject matter on 1/3 of the frame and not centering your subject matter always in the middle. This is a favorite for me and although I don’t always follow it I am a firm believer in it.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(4) Puno, Peru - Smile For The Price of a Chocolate Bar

While in Peru I wanted to visit Lake Titicaca, which is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world at 3,811 m (12,500 ft) above sea level. This area is full of indigenous people from different tribes in Peru and for a photographer it’s a dream spot for portraits. The only problem is that these locals don’t really like to have their picture taken so much. It’s gotten very touristy over the years but in general you should still ask permission first before snapping a shot.

Lesson Learned: Shopkeepers are great models!

I really wanted this gentleman’s photo but I didn’t know how to approach and ask. He was standing in the doorway of his shop so I went in and bought a chocolate bar and started playing around with my camera while waiting for him to give me back my change. This was the icebreaker I hoped for that would get the ball rolling for a conversation. He was interested in the shots I had taken so I showed him some then asked if it would be ok to take his portrait. By this time we had a little connection and when I asked he agreed happily. Taking a few minutes to connect with someone is essential, as just walking up and snapping a few quick shots normally never worked for me and I rarely liked the results when I did.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(5) Quilotoa, Ecuador - The Scarf Vendor (click the photo to see more on this)

South of Quito, Ecuador is a famous lake called Quilotoa, click here for a photo of it. This was one of my favorite places to visit in Ecuador and made several trips there, while living in Quito for eight months.

Lesson Learned: Think about your background when shooting.

I needed a scarf while there and this girl had some in a small shack stand, so I asked her how much. She gave me a pretty fair price I thought so I didn’t try and barter hard with her on it. Instead of trying to get it for a dollar cheaper I told her I would buy it if she let me take her photo. Eager to make a sale she said ok. I wanted to show the colors in her dress and the items she sold, so I made it a point to get her products in the photo (using the Rule of Thirds) in the background to tie the photograph together.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(6) Trinidad, Cuba - The Cowboy Who Sold Women's Handbags (click the photo to see more on this)

This old man was selling women’s hand bags on the street with another guy. Trinidad was my favorite place to photograph while in Cuba as everything there just seemed timeless and for the most part people were very open to getting their photograph taken.

Lesson Learned: Sharing a Marlboro yields wonders!

Once I seen the old men stop and sit on the curb taking a break I decided to sit next to them. I pulled out a pack of cigarettes and offered one to them each not saying a word but just smiling. We sat there just staring at people walking by while we smoked our cigarettes. I snapped a few photos of people walking by and showed them the shots afterwards, still not really saying anything. I finally pointed at my camera to motion if it would be ok if I took this guys photo and he just nodded ok. I’m not saying you should start smoking to get a portrait but in this case sharing a little something with a local will go a long way! If you want to see a photo of the other guy and how I edit shots in Adobe Lightroom, click here.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – Natural Light Only


While in Southern India I stopped off in a town called Mysore (pronounced as it’s spelled my-sore) that is about 3hrs from Bangalore. I spent 10 days here doing photos like a mad man. Everyday I made a new photo project for myself and made it a point to get as many different shots as I could. This is was first time I really tested out my light kit, as I hired a rickshaw driver for the day (funny story on this here) and told him I wanted to visit some rural villages to get portraits of locals. I might have hired the worst rickshaw driver in town but in the end I got some pretty great shots and it fueled my fire for focusing my work on people.

Lesson Learned: Off Camera Flash Rocks!

Flat out, one speedlight flash does wonders if used correctly. This photo wouldn’t have had the same feel if I had used natural light only. I did a quick meter on the scene and adjusted my settings to underexpose the shot, then used the flash to fill light the little girl. These types of flashes are ultra portable and easy to carry when traveling.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Canon 580Ex II Speedlite shot through a Westcott 28? softbox setup on camera left


(8) Jodhpur, India - The 4th Generation Pottery Maker

One of the more popular posts I did on my website this year was this photo-essay called “The Dying Art of Bishnoi Pottery Making“, which I showed how a man made water pots by hand. I took as many photos as I could and mixed it up in which I shot the photos. I wanted to make the reader feel like they were right there with me and show the whole process.

Lesson Learned: Tell a story through photos.

I got brought to this man’s house because my guide said it would be interesting to see what he does. We have all been there at some point and I thought it was going to be someone trying to sell me something as it happens all time when traveling in India. Once I got there though I realized that there was something worth showing here that people would like to see. I quickly told him I wanted to document his work and show people what he does for a living. He took that to heart and walked me through his whole process and I had a blast hanging out with this guy for 2hrs taking photos. I tried to take as many different shots as I could from different angles (high, low, you name it) and when combined I had a full visual story on my hands. Tours aren’t always bad and it’s a great way to get access to people for photos.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – Natural Light Only


(9) Jodhpur, India - The Funny Hat (click the photo to see more on this)

Lesson Learned: Use a prop to make a photo better! This old man normally wouldn’t ever wear this hat, as he said it was only for the younger men in the village and he liked his plain-Jane white turban best. Understood what he meant but I asked if he could do me a favor and wear it just for a photo because I said the colors in it would make the photo better for what I had in mind. He agreed but got revenge on me by making me wear it too while he took my photo, you can see the resulting photo here. The point here is that I seen something that could make the shot better and asked. Something as simple as a hat made this photo pop a lot more versus if it had been just a white turban. Don’t be afraid to ask as a lot of the time most people are open if you can justify a good reason that is within limits.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – Natural Light Only


(10) Jodhpur, India - Man in Purple

The photo the old man is holding is one I took and gave him. I was walking back to my hostel one day and noticed him sitting in his shop. I quickly raised my camera up and took four quick shots. I lowered my camera, smiled and waved and he just smiled and nodded back. I walked off afterwards…

Lesson Learned: Giving free prints to locals is the most rewarding thing I do in my travels!

One thing I started doing in 2011 is setting aside 1-2 days to walk around and photograph people on the streets, then find a local print lab and have a copy made, thus returning the next day to give them that copy for free. In India for example, a 5×7 print only cost $0.20 USD and can normally be done in the same day if dropped off early enough.

A lot of times people will ask me to email them a copy of a photo I take of them. I have learned that for me I am lousy at it for several reasons; I either forget to do it, I can’t read the email that is handwritten or I lose the paper they wrote it on (Tip: never take a hand written email address, instead have them write it out and take a photo of it, so that you have a digital copy of it and it’s stored in the same files as the photos taken. Then you’ll also know whom it belongs to). Even worse, lots of people in poorer countries don’t even have email and will ask me to mail them a copy, which can be a nightmare when your always traveling. So my way of giving back is to set aside a few days and just go out with the intention to give back. It’s my way of giving and not always taking.

So when I was editing my photos that day and seen this old man’s photograph that I had taken, I knew I wanted to give him a printed copy of it because it was such a great shot. You can read here his reaction when I gave him the copy of the photo but anytime I do this I am more buzzed for a week to do more portraits and I walk around with a big cheesy smile for the rest of the day… and it only costs me $0.20! It’s always the best money I spend when traveling.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – Natural Light Only


(11) Jodhpur, India - Rickshaw Exposé Interview

By far the most commented article I wrote this year was called, “Exposé: India’s Rickshaw Drivers Tell All” It was an easy read article full of simple shots of rickshaw drivers in India, where I asked them what it’s like to be them, to tell me about their horror stories as a driver and to shed light on a subject most don’t. The response from readers was great!

Lesson Learned: Hire a guide to do something different!

I got this idea a long time ago about talking with local transport drivers in a country but never acted on it because I knew I wouldn’t speak the local language and would need help with it. So while in Jodhpur, India I found a guide who wanted to take me to see the sites around the city but I told him I wasn’t interested in that but had another idea. I explained I just wanted to talk to people instead but needed someone to help me translate what they said. He said no problem, as the rate for him was the same. We agreed on a flat rate price of 500Rs (like $9.50) for fours hours. This is has been by far one of the best ideas I’ve had yet and is rather simple to arrange in any tourist place around the world. Don’t let not knowing the local language hold you back from communicating with locals, as for a few dollars I got a world of information that most never hear about. It was fun as hell to do and the photos came out great, especially being accompanied with the interviews!

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(12) Jodhpur, India - Old Women Selling Vegetables

This photo is a favorite of mine from India. She didn’t have the shawl over her head when I walked by but when I asked her for a photo she put it on and gave me the warmest smile ever. Just looking at this shot makes you almost feel like you know her.

Lesson Learned: Go wide and surround people in their environment while working.

As beautiful as this old women was, showing her surrounded by the fruits and vegetables she sold really made this image pop. So much of the time I had been always just tried to capture the people and realized that by going wide and allowing their environments into the photo can make for some striking shots at time. Going wide helps mix it up and can tell more of a story in a shot.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(13) New Delhi, India - Old Man in The Door

Following up from my time in Jodhpur, India I headed to New Delhi and meet another photographer. He was keen to go shooting with me and asked me what I wanted to do? I quickly told him I wanted to go street shooting of people and print photos from the day to give back. So we threw some gear into our bags and took off to the Old Town of New Delhi. This gentleman was one of the first persons we photographed that day. To see all the photos we took that day and the after shots of the people when we gave them copies of the photos, click here.

Lesson Learned: One-Foot Doorway Rule.

Ever heard of the word called “Catch Light?” It’s the specular highlight in a subject’s eye from a light source and it makes the eyes look like they are sparkling. Photographing in the harsh noontime can be hard for portraits as it creates hard shadows across the face. A little trick a photographer told me to do to overcome this is to have someone stand a foot inside a doorway. You’ll find by doing that, that it will create a soft pleasing light and you can capture some spectacular catch light in their eyes.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(14) Varanasi, India - Fake Holy Man

Varanasi had been a dream stop for me for a long time because everyone talks about how great it is to photograph the holy men and random people along the ghats their. No doubt the place is loaded with some of the most interesting people I have ever seen in all my travels but I quickly found out it becomes a hassle for photographers here. Example is this fake Sadu. If I walked up and took his photo he would have demanded money. Never mind he’s just an act, I just didn’t want to get into a big hassle with everyone in Varanasi about photos. So I stayed back and shot from afar instead, trying to isolate people in photos instead. That way I got a good photo but didn’t have to barter every time I click the shutter.

Lesson Learned: If you don’t want to pay, then don’t take the shot.

I don’t normally pay people for a street photo. I have a few rules and try and stick to them at most times:

  1. If I’m walking along the street and randomly take a photo of someone doing something, I’m not paying.
  2. If I ask someone for a photo and they demand money I normally just politely say no and keep walking (every once in a while I break this rule for certain situations).
  3. Now if I ask a person for a photo and start requesting stuff from them, like where to stand, to pose them exc then I think it’s fair to pay them an agreed amount of money because after all you’re asking them to do something for you that they normally wouldn’t. If it were reversed you’d think the same.

Everyone has their own thoughts on this, I don’t care what they are, I’m just saying this is mine but when traveling expect people to ask for money for photos and if you don’t want to pay then politely move on. Getting mad, arguing or refusing to pay someone on this will do no one any good.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – Natural Light Only


(15) Dharamshala, India - Boy Monk

The home of the Dalai Lama is in Northern India in a small mountain village called Dharamshala and there are many Buddhist monasteries in this village because so. One of the main reasons why I wanted to go here was to photograph monks with my light kit.

Lesson Learned: Setting up my first portrait session on the road wasn’t that hard.

I had no clue what-so-ever on how I was going to get these monks to pose for me when I showed up, seriously no clue. I met another American guy the first day, which after I told him my plans, said he was game for helping. We talked it over and decided the easiest way was to just go to a monastery and ask if we could photograph a few monks (see Lesson 1, as you just have to ask). We went to two monasteries and both said ok, as it really was that easy to just go and ask. We told them we would come back the next day at a certain time but before we left we scouted for locations to visualize the shoot and know what to bring because we knew we wouldn’t have much time. We wanted things to go smooth and fast, this photo is from the first monastery we went to. You don’t have to be a professional to do this kind of stuff or work for National Geographic… you just have to try!

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Canon 580Ex II Speedlite shot through a Westcott 28? softbox setup on camera left


(16) Bhaktapur, Nepal - 3 Wise Men

While in Nepal I was hanging out in the capital, Kathmandu, way too much and finally decided I needed to get out of there for a day and shoot some people shots. I hopped onto a local bus and headed to Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside the gated walls of this old city are some of the happiest and friendliest local people I have met in all of my travels.

Lesson Learned: Spend a day walking with a focus.

I had no plans for visiting Bhaktapur, other then I just wanted to photograph people. I put on my big lens, slug the camera over my shoulder and took off with one goal in mind… PEOPLE! These old men were sitting along the coble stone road and talking. The middle man said something at me as I walked by. It sounded like he made a joke at me, as I wasn’t sure since I don’t speak the language but I stopped and snapped a few photos back at them while putting on a big smile. The two other guys got a crack out of it that I had caught onto the old man saying something and started hazing the man in the middle about it. After that I had more confidence in the area and came away with some of the best photos I took in all of the Nepal.

Being focused on what you want to shoot makes all the difference when going out. A smile is worth a hundred words when you don’t speak the language and no one wants their photo taken by someone with a stern face like Hitler.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – Natural Light Only


(17) Pokhara, Nepal - The Retired Solider

I did one hike while in Nepal, as I showed up during the rainy reason, so it wasn’t a great time to do that stuff then. The one hike I did was a 5hr hike with a private guide to his child home village. He said he was the only one who brings tourist there and he only goes there about 10x per-year.

Lesson Learned: Take your time and not rush. Get drunk with a local instead and you’ll get the photo!

The village only had about 8 families, no running water and was set high in the mountains. I asked my guide if we could visit a few families, so he took me around but most people weren’t to keen on getting their photos taken when we walked up to their houses. I decided to change strategy and not ask for a photo but instead just go and talk with them. This old man was weaving a basket on his porch when we showed up. My guide was friendly and well liked in the village, so I just let him do the talking while sitting quietly for the first 20min while they chatted about life.

After a while I started to ask questions about the old man. I found out a world of interesting stuff about this old Nepalese man, one that he had retired out of the Indian Army (guess they have something worked out where people in Nepal can serve). Once I told him I had served in the military in the US Army we really started talking and he offered us some of his local hooch he had made. We drank for a while and finally I asked him if I could take a portrait of him with my light kit. Being buzzed I am sure helped him say yes but a yes is a yes.

Like Lesson 4, just walking up and asking someone for something usually won’t reward as much as taking the time to build a connection with them. It took me 4 drinks of the worst moonshine I have ever had but it was worth it to get this old mans smile in a photo. Not only did I get a photo but I built a relationship, as I have no doubt if I returned with a print for him I’d be welcomed back for another three hour drinking binge.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Canon 580Ex II Speedlite shot through a Westcott 28? softbox setup on camera right


(18) Medellin, Colombia - Old Women In Pain

The toughest parade I have ever seen is in Medellin, Colombia and is called “The Feria de las Flores” which translates into “Festival of the Flowers” or more commonly said in English “Flower Festival.” Young kids carry heavy loads of flowers for several miles on their backs to old women 70+ years of age doing the same. It’s the biggest celebration of the year in Medellin.

Lesson Learned: Your zoom is your two feet!

By far my favorite lens is the 70-200mm I have. Now I know some of you think with a lens like that I can just stand back and zoom in on people from afar. While true you can do that, I always try and avoid that when possible. I’m a firm believer that I think most people get lazy with zoom lenses and their photography lacks because of it at times. Whenever I can get close to someone I will, even though I know I could just zoom in. Why do I do this? I do it because zooming out degrades your image some and I like being close to my subject if possible to communicate, lock eyes exc.

This lady was marching along the parade route and I stepped into the street to get closer to her and to get her attention. Once she looked at my camera that was when I took the shot. This might all sound a little philosophical or over analyzed but it works trust me. If you want to get the attention of the person your photographing, your zoom is the worst option, use your feet instead.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – Natural Light Only


(19) Medellin, Colombia- Drunk Mexican

I seen this guy walking to the metro one-day and we stopped and asked him if we could have his photo. He was a little drunk, it was only 3pm, but he was funny and said ok. You really never know who you will run into on the streets of Medellin.

Lesson Learned: Fill the frame for a portrait!

I didn’t want the boring head-on shot of this guy, like I did here, or use the Rule of 3rd. So I put as much of his head and hat into the frame that I could get and snapped the shutter. Little things like this can really help mix up a portfolio and can be done with any camera model.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Natural Light Only


(20) Medellin, Colombia - Halloween Diablo

This is a photo of my roommate in Medellin, Colombia. He had a Halloween party at our apartment and I knew it would be a good time to get some creative fun portraits while still partying with everyone.

Lesson Learned: Get out there, get creative with stuff you got!

I had a cheap small softbox I had picked up in the US for like $15 but hardly ever used it. I didn’t have a studio when I took this photo, only a bedroom. To see the full set-up on this shot, click here, but my point is you’ll eventually get to a point where you’ll just don’t want to take someone’s portrait… you’ll want to get creative with every portrait and that’s a good thing! I think you can tell a difference from photo #1 to now and how I progressed. The key for me getting better was to try new things with the stuff I had. You can always look at a photo someone else takes and say “Yeah but he’s a pro and has all the newest gear” but that’s only an excuse for not getting the shot you want I think. Gear helps but being creative is what really gets those shots. I will admittedly say that adding a light kit to do off camera flash has tremendously let me be more creative in my portraits but it wasn’t necessary either though, as most of the photos I take are with natural light only.

Gear Used: Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens – Canon 580Ex II Speedlite tethered to my camera and shot through a cheap 8″ softbox. The sync cord and soft box cost max $30 USD.

  • 12 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Kyle Grove says:

    Great advice. Ive wanted to get into shooting portraits more but have always found it hard. Ill try again with some of these tips

  2. Sabrina says:

    I’m not a great photographer by any means to start out with, but I would say my weakest travel photos are the (missing) portrait shots of people. Thanks for all the tips!!

  3. Suzy says:

    These are all so emotional. Thanks for the tips too Troy. Now I want to run out and start asking people if I can take their picture. People always make for the best pictures.

  4. Stephen says:

    Love Troy’s photos. Enjoyed reading the lesson’s learned, too.

  5. It’s great to see Troy’s work featured here. He captures faces in a way that is unrivalled.

  6. Modern Nomad says:

    Always something to learn. Thanks for the lessons you learned, I learned.

  7. Dave says:

    Great to see Troy’s photos here. You can really see the evolution of his portraits from when he got started until now.

  8. Alex says:

    These are wonderful! I am quite shy and thus tend to shy away from portraits. But these are inspiring enough to make me want to try again!

  9. There really are no words — best portraits I’ve EVER seen.

  10. Awesome shots Troy! Makes me want to go on more portrait missions. The worst they can say is “no”!

  11. Wonderful portraits! They really capture the spirit of the location they’re taken in. Great tips!

  12. Lane says:

    Great article. I shy away from portraits because the response is inevitably, “it doesn’t look like me”. With these tips in mind, I’ll try again. Thanks.

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