Face to Face: Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2008
Pages: 304

In this beautifully illustrated book, travel and adventure photographer Rick Sammon introduces the proven techniques he uses to make extraordinary photographs of people around the world. You'll find important tips and strategies for engaging your subject and setting up the shoot, along with techniques for shooting in a variety of conditions both indoors and outdoors.

Rick Sammon is people person who loves the art of making -- rather than simply taking -- people pictures. In Face to Face, he makes learning people photography a quick and enjoyable experience. Rick demonstrates his methods through a collection of his original photographs. Each photo includes notes explaining the principles he followed and the techniques he used.

Face to Face offers hundreds of tips you can you for studio shoots and "environmental" people pictures, including:

  • Outdoor techniques for shooting in low light, shooting in bright light, for capturing action, taking profiles, taking group shots, and more
  • Indoor techniques for using a flash and strobes, and for shooting silhouettes, working with mirrors, and other techniques
  • Photo philosophies and creative advice, such as developing a sense of place, carefully choosing the background, seeing pictures within a picture, and more
  • How to photograph people in different cultures, along with fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of photos in the book

The largest section of the book, "Photo Philosophies", lays out several principles for making people pictures. Rick stresses that the camera looks both ways -- in other words, the attitude and energy you bring to a shoot will be reflected in a subject's face. If you're enthusiastic, you'll capture a picture that portrays enthusiasm. If you're impatient or distracted, that will be reflected as well.

Getting subjects to accept him in a matter of seconds is his prime goal as a people photographer -- after that, he says, taking pictures is much easier. Even if you're not a world traveler, Rick's tips and techniques will have you taking top-notch people pictures wherever you are.

Rick Sammon gives more than a dozen workshops and presentations each year, holds online classes, and is the producer of seven interactive DVDs for photographers on all facets of photography.

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oreillyFace to Face: Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People

(based on 2 reviews)

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first disappointment from O'REILLY

By GMichael

from Antwerpen, Belgium



    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

      Comments about oreilly Face to Face: Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People:

      It's more about Rick Sammon then photography,
      haphazard and almost useless

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


      What a Fantastic Book! Recommended reading for 2009

      By Kevin Boehm PhotoKenosha President

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly Face to Face: Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People:

      Face to Face

      Rick Sammon's Guide to Photographing People

      A Review by Kevin Boehm

      After a recent trip to a photo studio to do my first studio portraits, I fell in love with portrait photography. I recently ordered this book after having it on my wish list for a while. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I got the book on a Friday and had read it twice by the following Wednesday. This is the first publication by Rick Sammon that I have read and I really enjoyed his writing.

      Face to Face was written in an easy to read, very light manner. There isn't a whole lot of text compared to most photography how to books, but the information is given in an easy to read and easy to understand manner. This is one of those situations where it's not how much there is to read but it's the quality of the information given. He wrote this book in such a manner even my wife, who is not into photography, was describing things to me that I had no idea she even new about.

      This book has tons of photographic examples throughout the book. It is so nice to see what the author is talking about first hand. When a description or technique is given there is also a photo demonstrating the differences.

      Thank god finally a photography book that doesn't budget 90% of the book to Photoshop. Rick Sammon gives the reader a brief section on the topic. This book is not real technical, but does go into great detail what it takes to get a great portrait. After reading the book I think the most important aspect is your interaction with the subject you want to shoot.

      I would highly recommend anyone that currently shoots portraits, or anyone with the interest in shooting portraits, pick this book up immediately. Your portraits will dramatically improve if you follow Rick's advice.

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