Photographing People: How to Take Successful Pictures of Your Friends, Family and Others around You


240 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-458-95460-8




Reviewed by David Mattison

David Mattison is a librarian with the B.C. Provincial Archives and
Records Services Library.


British photographer Jack Schofield, English language/London editor of the lively Paris-based magazine Zoom, has compiled a comprehensive and colourful catalogue of portraiture possibilities.

Possibly directed at the intermediate or advanced photographer who is familiar with photographic jargon and the equipment itself, the book begins by laying out some of the techniques and requisites for successful portraits. The backbone of the book is the philosophy that portraits can be divided into three types, in which the subject is fully aware, semi-aware, or unaware of the photographer.

Lighting is discussed in the second major section, but it also crops up in other parts of the book. Composition is discussed at each step, as are kinds of film, shutter speed, and aperture settings.

Major portrait groupings include children, nude and glamour photography (all females), and portrait groups such as weddings, parties, and parades. How to apply makeup and how to pose (again, all female), and the topics of travelling with a camera and photographing dance and sports are also covered.

A glossary and an index are provided. Well stocked with examples of good photographs, there are few bad photos from which to learn. The issues of privacy and release forms are not dealt with except in the case of foreign taboos. Good advice is offered on every page, and this book should do a lot towards improving any photographer’s work. The section on nude photography is sure to offend some readers as well as titillate others. Libraries can expect those pages to disappear quickly unless the book is protected.


Schofield, Jack, “Photographing People: How to Take Successful Pictures of Your Friends, Family and Others around You,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,