Travel Photography: Portraits from the Back

by Jim Zuckerman

© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved

Sometimes photographing a person from behind makes a unique and compelling story. In this case, I photographed a man in Bali, Indonesia, who was making his living charging tourists to have their picture taken with a python wrapped around their necks.

I offered to pay him to pose for my photo tour group, and he agreed. He was wearing a shirt, but I saw that he was completely covered in tattoos. I asked him if he would remove the shirt, and he agreed. I thought the combination of the tattoos and the snake would make a dramatic travel portrait. After we photographed him from the front, I asked him to turn around, and everyone in my group ended up liking this point of view the best. The snake was constantly in motion, so we were able to capture a variety of images.

The sun was harsh in mid-morning, so I asked our subject to move into the shade of a building to take advantage of the soft and diffused light. The side of the building was textured, and as a background it wasn't bad, but I thought I could improve upon it. I used Photoshop, therefore, to add a new texture to the background. I had photographed the new texture in a close-up of a floor tile in a Balinese restaurant where my group and I had lunch.

More on Jim Zuckerman

Jim Z is a top stock photographer who teaches for BetterPhoto's photography school online. See his instructor bio and list of courses... . Also, he contributed to Jim Miotke and Kerry Drager's how-to book: The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light.

About Author Jim Zuckerman

Author: Jim  Zuckerman

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