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That Candid Moment before the Mask

perfect imperfection before the stage is set

​  A portrait is arguably the epitome of a staged picture. Just too aware of the camera and the attached intruder, any natural gesture gets banned behind masks that bear questionable resemblance to genuine human emotion.

Portrait candidness is the short lived obliviousness before the stage is set and it thrives on the imperfection of anticipating the "picture perfect" moment.

Portrait candidness is the short lived obliviousness before the stage is set and it thrives on the imperfection of anticipating the "picture perfect" moment.

Once the subjects have put on their masks, it is difficult to get through to their real selves. But there are still ways to keep things honest and capture the perfect imperfection – the key is to be ready when authenticity resurfaces: with the shutter lying in wait or shooting away multiple frames, a candid moment in-between masks is inevitable.

Talk and humor help too. Using words to poke people in the right places will make them feel at ease, so they can find themselves in a natural setting.

While staged portraits can convey powerful emotions and sincere character traits, they are an invitation to imitate rather than actually feel.