Pairs

Portraying people in pairs allows you to relate them to each other in various ways. The relationship may be simply to do with comparative shapes and the individuals themselves remaining anonymous. Or it may be the highly personalized warmth and friendliness of the two brothers (Figure 17.3), both to each other and the person behind the camera. In this semi-posed shot, the boy in black stole into what was planned as a single portrait. The pale background helps to create a strong combined shape, and plain garments avoid distraction from faces. Lighting here was flash bounced off a white ceiling.

In other instances, expressions can have quite different connotations. The candid shot of the elderly Italians (Figure 17.4) has a rather sinister air. The hats, the corner location and the surrounding empty tables seem to suggest some plot or business meeting. A whole story can be dreamt up around such a picture - when, in fact, it was probably just a few old pals on a day out.

Your shot may be a largely constructed situation or taken incognito, but picking exactly the right moment can be quite difficult when two facial expressions have to be considered. Expect to take a number of exposures; you may find out anyway that a short series of two or three prints in an album forms an interesting 'animated'-type sequence that has more depth than a single photograph.

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