Faces Tell Stories

“Among all – Human faces are most attractive to me. Every face has a story. We as photographers reveal that undiscovered story through our lens. Faces tell stories, tell the situation of the person, and tell the story of the place the person lives in. Wherever I go somewhere I always come across to faces those are different and eventually try to find characteristic of the community; every place has its own perception, story of smell, a person bears these things in his/her appeal. I search for story behind the face, so faces are incredible to me. Through out searching the portrait we could find strange stories of lives of people from different places that we never recognize before. I am going to share my experiences  during the journey of finding unnoticed faces

- Gmb Akash

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I search for getting an interesting character, a face that is unusual. I search such face in the middle of crowd. My first prior attention is the selection of the person, choosing the right character. Before I take any portrait I try to be familiar with the person. I talk to him/her and try to build a relationship with the person I will photograph. I give them time to be normal in front of my camera. I introduce myself to them. When the person gives his/her most natural expression to me, I take out my camera then start shooting. I believe it is the strongest factor which I practice so far to get a close snap of a human soul.

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For me light is the most important element for getting an excellent portrait. I try to use different type of light; I try to shoot in different time of the day to get different colour and mode of light. Every light has its own appeal for creating different portraits of an individual.

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Technically I use 35mm (f 1.4), 24-70 mm (2.8) lenses. But I take portrait with all kind of lens I have. Truly to say I do not care about my equipments much. For me the most important is – the person. Some times I also use very open aperture like 1.4 to get very low depth of field. So my eyes only go to my subject. As in some cases the surrounding environment is very important, so in that time I use aperture 8 to get all the elements in focus. But I do not like using very wide angel lens and I do not like a lot of distortion on the photo. I saw many people use wide angel lens for most of their works. If you use very wide thing, the picture look interesting because of the distortion. But in my opinion then the picture looks like it has taken by the wide angel lens not by a photographer. So I don’t use too much wide angle. And thus I try to make my images clean and direct.

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I have strong affection for color. I am a color photographer and I believe color photography is more challenging so as complicated. When I can meet the challenge I feel relieved. I am always very careful for using light and color. I love shooting in the early morning and late afternoon. But while I take portrait in the mid day I try to shoot them in the shadow, indoor or under flat light. It creates mystical environment.

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I try to use very simple background while I am taking close up portrait, so that the background might not disturb the subject and I try to use lot of – window soft light. Eyes have significance to me. One of the most important things in my images is eyes of the person. Eyes tell the story of that person. Eyes tell the unseen background of the person which I always hunt to discover.

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- For me the most prior factor is the character of my portrait. The light, color, eyes & the person must have to be blend with me. I align four factors together for taking a special portrait they are – the person, the light, eyes & color.

- Attention is the most hidden factor to get a good portrait. The person need to be familiar with you and the camera, it will be your prior duty to make the person natural as well comfortable for getting a best shot.

- Several rules applied by photographers for getting experimental portraits. Every photographer has his/her own style of taking portrait. Often the most remarkable portraits are those that break all the rules, so it’s important to create your own rules to get a master copy which might never done by some one before.

-  Expression indicating the direction of the person’s eyes which can impact an image astonishingly. For me it’s important to observe the right moment of the direction of eyes.

- For creating interesting images you need to give trial, for creating interesting placement of your subject. After Creative thinking, creative placement can sometimes create out of the ordinary images.

- There are almost unlimited possibilities when it comes to use light in portraits. Input of light could make a portrait more or less powerful, as well side lighting, back lighting, silhouetting can spot specific features.

- Never fail to align your mind, eyes & lens together to find the inner beauty of the portrait.

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“Any Book or text or any experience sharing can not demonstrate “Portraits” practically. Pick your camera explores faces to get a good portrait. And you are welcome if my single practical example or feedback could uphold your knowledge”

 - Gmb Akash

357 thoughts on “Faces Tell Stories

  1. GMB Akash I feel constantly renewed by seeing your work.
    Not only the visual impact that gives me, but the voices, the smells, the lives that your lens captures. It’s amazing, I see more life in a single photo of your portfolio than the entire work of some artists.
    You said something very interesting that I will transcribe:
    “Among all – Human faces are most attractive to me. Every face bears a story. ”
    I think so too, every human being has a detail, a look or a smile so unique, that sometimes takes my breath away. Glad to have more people thinking like that. And I’m even happier for the fact you give voice to unsung heroes.

    Again, I first met your portfolio in my city, Oporto,and for the first time an artist had the ability to thrill me deeply through his strong humanist sense.

    Akash Congratulations, you are not only an artist, you are an inspiration to us all.

    • I’m interested in things and ideas that can really affect peoples’ lives in a positive and effective way. Thanks for your valuable opinion about me & my work. My best wishes to you.

    • I’ve always loved anthropology and history–however the two leave you with hardly more than a pile of bones. The faces–the glimmering peeks into an ephemeral humanity are gone. Lost forever. The images you’ve captured are so special. Without them, no trace would remain of these people. People without fame–or vast storehouses of riches. People blessed only with a thin, weak skin separating them from eternity.

      • I see the beauty of people and the human soul in the pictures I take. And though the circumstances of some of the people I portray may be grim, back-breaking, depraved, the people themselves are always remarkable characters and souls.

    • As a photojournalist I always feel a force in myself to make people show the unseen & take the light to focus the dense darkness what we never see in our open eyes. My entire images sum up the story which designated to give a massage that my images are my voice, I want to show the things that should over.

  2. This is one of the best story I read. It’s true when you see their face you will know what was in there… I frequently do reading the faces of people around me, sometimes it feels good when you read their faces seeing their happiness but when it’s negative, makes me guilty. I really enjoy this..

    • I am glad that you liked the post. Human faces are incredible. yes when we found out negative things of life through portrait of a community it gives a guilt feelings which can not be described shortly.

  3. Excellent photographs. Beautiful portraists. And thank you for the advice on portraits:

    - Never fail to align your mind, eyes & lens together to find the inner beauty of the portrait.

    This is something we should do every time we pick up the camera. The world would be full of beautiful pictures.

    • I would love to share more. Thanks that you valued the post. I may write 1000words on suffering how a child is selling his/her future in 1dollar but an exact picture, its surroundings, lights, scratches in his faces through a photo is enough to tell his lifetime story without telling single word. This is the power of photography.

  4. there are photographs of faces and then some photographs of faces than tell a story… each of these photos makes me stop and look at it and tells me a story ! very good work !

  5. Wonderful! As a filmmaker, I have an appreciation for what you are saying. I agree that 35 mm is a good lens to shoot portraits. In all of my interviews or shots I usually go with a 35 or 50. This really eliminates the idea of a camera and makes the shot seem much more personal. Once again, I really enjoyed reading this.

  6. I just bought a new pro camera, and experimented with it, and after finding it so overwhelming with so much to learn, I now feel more relaxed after reading your post. You make it sound so easy.. genius, ..thank you.

  7. These are breathtaking portraits. I love how you have been able to express the reds and the blacks, particularly. Your text–your explanation of your aims as an artist–is also engaging. Thank you for letting us see these.

    • I am in an endless journey towards an infinite route, only to find a real world of humanity. I will keep walking, touching every faces I drop through my lens. I will show the world – those unknown stories of sufferings. If a single hand comes to give them a shade that is the real honor of my sweat.
      Best wishes to you.

    • When born in a poor country is required natural ability to get strength fight against every odds. Surviving in a poor country facing adversity is like a lifetime tragedy. Circles of sufferings never stop. I just wanted to deliver the massages that this is a duty of a photojournalist to make people show the things we should not go through, we just can’t close our eyes & run by. Photography is a strong medium to reach & touch people’s heart.

  8. dear akash,

    the efforts which u take in sharing each glipmse which ur lens captures otherwise is a great way to showcase ur passion about life and the skills you posess in photography is just a bonus…..Cheers and Keep the good work going…God bless you.

    • Thanks a lot. I only feel a drive inside me to take pictures of those whom we neglected consciously, who are neglected by the fate. Every day, in every angle, in every corner of my country I went for capturing those miserable souls & kept them in heart of my camera. Best wishes to you.

  9. Great article! Especially on the relationship aspects of portrait phottography. I often find myself too shy to ask for a picture, let alone shooting without asking (which seems rude to me).

  10. It’s courteous that you talk to your subjects first rather than just photographing them and moving on. I once saw a tourist just about get pounded into the sand for photographing a guy’s family without permission.

  11. So inspiring!!!!! Ahhh!!!! Sometimes it’s wonderful to just sit somewhere public (airport, mall, beach) & people-watch, because then you learn a lot about how an individual acts when he thinks no one is paying attention to him. Faces are often like blueprints to a person’s past…

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  13. You have beautiful eyes because you see beauty in the ordinary. I have always thought that I am not very pretty, but because of this I realize how unique my face is, and for that reason I should feel really beautiful. Thank you!

  14. These days we rarely live in the moment. We are focused on things. Your photographs encourage us bare witness to a moment in the life of a fellow him being. Thank you.

    • These people are devoid of even the basic necessities of life, yet they go on breathing and manage to live each day with a smile on their faces. This is the best part of them. Thanks.best wishes.

  15. Faces are weather beaten facades hung from bones, like the rest of the body. Yes, faces show our trials and worries, and our joy and happiness, but it’s from the heart or soul that these come. “Men look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
    e heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

  16. Truly humans are such a masterpiece,
    they’re life and experiences is an ART itself …
    The way we present it is a way of depicting their stories, your shots have captured my heart deeply.

    more powers to this blog.

  17. Dear Amb Akash,
    I agree that your photos do not need words so as to interpret your images but your words do bring out the true humanity of the photographer. I am sure your subjects appreciate that you leave them their dignity even if they live in difficult circumstances.
    Well done

    • I work for the people who are suffering without end & dieing everyday in the straggle of life. I have always been interested in the graceful character of the small, seemingly unimportant lives. To me, there is hidden beauty in the ordinary and great beauty in the overlooked. All those character of my frames are my true inspiration for life & photography.

  18. Great photography. These could really tell a story like i can vision it all in my head. I am a photographer as well and I love to take them of nature, not people but this has changed my view on photography.

  19. It simply amazes me that people express certain qualities about their culture and lifestyle through a camera lens. I like them a lot. This type of professional photography gives me something better to look at then all those MySpace pose pictures and recently uploaded Facebook photos.

  20. Very much enjoy your photography… I held an exhibition once of black and white portraits I shot while in Burma. Perhaps I’ll post those photos up sometime, would like to see what you think. Peace.

  21. This is why I enjoy taking pictures of faces. I like being able to take pictures of pretty much everyone. Some tell me they say they’re not photogenic or they’re not model material. But I urge them to just be themselves. I just want to capture who they are as a person. Their natural selves which is so much better than snapping a shot of something set up or posed. I don’t mind doing that, but for me, the joy of taking pictures is capturing a moment that isn’t expected… or a facial expression that a person may not have unveiled before. ^__^

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  23. Hi dost, i read your full blog here ………………. :-> it is really a full story about something new in photography, it will make me helpful very much to shot a portrait nicely…………………………..really good , have a very good afternoon to you friend . bi bi …………………. :->

  24. Have you done any photographs of people in a city? thier stories to tell, their worries, happiness, hate or self destruction? I admire you photographs and I think they’re beautiful, but your everyday people such as neighbours, teachers, doctors, a passerby etc…. have you ever thought about what kind of story they hold? You can never be sure of what goes on behind closed doors. And I feel there is alot more to people than you think, only a few houses down the road.

    Your article is amazing, I really enjoyed reading this. It has been inspirational.

  25. Akash, thanks for the good advice & info on taking photographs. My brother gifted me a Nikon D3100 as my wedding gift & I am planning to start using it more often. By the way, loved the picture of the kid with blue cloth wrapped on her head & body.

  26. Great work. Loved all of them. Where were they taken from? Bangladesh/India??
    You know I always thought, although I am not much of a photographer myself, that photography is a power, a means of seeking reunion with all the abstractness of life & all your photos suggest the same thing to me………My favorite photograph, one that has terribly influenced & afflicted me is one by Kevin Carter: http://picturenet.co.za/photographers/kc/ When I stumbled onto it, for the first time in my life I learned to appreciate the power of photography to evoke feelings inside you…Have a great time.

  27. face describes personal. we can get some “clue” for somebody who experienced in the past and even today. photography has done with it
    Great Images and Post.

  28. great and fantastic photos, what a wonderful world of faces…and also a clear and interesting examination with different kinds of portraits…thanks for open your experience and knowlegde to us, and of course thanks for the characters and pictures

  29. This is wonderful. I took pictures of myself almost everyday last year, when I was going through depression. I didn’t let myself acknowledge my depression, but it showed through in my pictures. My pictures told my story before I had a voice to tell it.

  30. Fantastic post. As a journalist, I once had a colleague remark that ‘every story you’ll ever write is about people. If it’s not about people, then you’ve missed the point.’ Your pictures reminded me of that. Thanks :)

  31. I enjoyed my visit here so much! I think your photographs are incredible & through them I feel your insight into the people you have photographed.

  32. beautiful images and rich colors! these fotos show much expression and story about the people in them but also speak to your connectedness to them throughout the image-making process.

  33. Wow!! These are beautiful pictures, and great writing too. Thank you for sharing your joy in working, I enjoyed reading this blog post and now I’m following you . Great job and have a safe travel to wherever that you are going.

  34. I see the sadness of their lives through these photos. Maybe you should sell them (the portraits)and help out the individual with that money. Its a concept worth emulating.

  35. i am really impressed by your photos they remind me steve maccury’s collection can i use one of your photos in my blog (of course your rights will be saved )

  36. I think faces tell stories to…these are nice pictures…i like the different cultures and the seriousness in the photos…they each look like they have a different story to tell in their own way….nice pictures.

  37. jus awesome…great content of visual and verbal pleasure..portraits are truly appreciable and well described pictorially. your writing is lively as well…hope to see more of you soon

  38. Wonderful expressions of people. And each one is a soul in need of a Saviour. I hope that not only does your lens capture their essence for that moment in their lives, but that the gospel reach them in their far off land. God bless you.

  39. This is so amazing. I love these pictures. The way these persons are portrayed reminds me of the way Leonardo da Vinci was portraying their models in his paintings and drawings. Capturing the whole person, their character and their story in one single picture. I just blogged about it an hour ago. emeraldme.wordpress.com

  40. Akash, m strongly impressed and shook by your clicks. One can interpret by himself story behind every single face you captured. I dont have words to express my gratitude for this kind of work you brought to us, truly remarkable!
    I am co-founder of a limerick based digital agency and offer you to do a project with us so that we can help you to spread your word thru facebook application or a fan page or anything. For any help contact me at umayr.javed@gmail.com. Blessings!

  41. Amazing photos, you are every talented. I like that you wrote about your techniques on capturing a successful photo. I get nervous walking up and taking a picture of someone, so I found it helpful that you said you approach your subject first and say hello and wait for them to open up. Great article and photographs, thank you so much for sharing.

    • Every photographer create his/her own rule for getting an outstanding portrait.
      But besides these it is important to make comfortable the person you are shooting.

  42. Sweet grief !! The scroll down to here was something ! This Post is
    really good! Have to share on my blog : hope thats ok ?

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  46. That’s a fantastic article, thanks for sharing. Especially the opening quote – human faces – brilliant. We’re a photobooth company and it’s all about image. Exceptional post. Thanks

  47. I have to admit it Akash….I spend quite a lot of time looking at people’s faces. I try to be inconspicuous ….but there are times when I just can’t help staring. I love faces. When I say…”What a great face!” , friends don’t understand, because the wonderful face in question doesn’t fit the world’s definition of beautiful or handsome. But what stories they tell!
    Thank you for sharing these amazing faces, and for the helpful suggestions that may assist those among us who are too shy to begin the conversation that puts people at ease. You have mastered that skill beautifully……

  48. I never make opinions, nonetheless I looked at a bunch of opinions here at Faces
    Tell Stories | GMB AKASH but had a few questions for you if you do not mind.
    Might it be just me or are several of the replies appear to be as if they are just plain coming from brain dead folks?
    And also, should you be publishing on other supplemental internet sites,
    I want to stay in touch with you. Might you put up a listing of all of your
    current social network pages like your linkedin account, Facebook site or twitter feed?

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