Choosing our favourite portrait photos

We asked professional photographer, Miles Willis, to choose 3 great portrait shots from the Canon Gallery. So, what did he like about them?

Wishes (Deseos), Jose Antonio Cordoba Vega

Jose makes great use of the location in this environmental portrait. Turning the model away from the camera moves the focus away from the subject and onto the landscape. Positioning between the sun and the camera produces a rim light on the subject helping to differentiate her from the background. A little post-production including colour adjustment and darkening edges gives a modern, filtered feel to this image.

The fair is over, Tomislav Lačić

This documentary-style portrait is really fun and a great example of the location making an image and telling or hinting at a wider story. Shot at night under artificial lights Tomislav Lačić has wisely converted to black and white to eliminate the distracting false colours that shooting under these kind of lights usually produces.

Maiken, Elisabeth Middelhuis

This more traditional portrait uses a number of techniques to make the most of the model's features. Placing the eyes off centre according to the rule of thirds and shooting at an angle to create a diagonal eye line helps to produce a more dynamic composition. Shooting close in, cutting off her hair eliminates the possibility of a distracting background. Shooting down on the subject makes for a pleasing jawline and flattering pose.

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