The dawn of a new year brings with it the hope of fresh and exciting art forms in the world of photography. The year 2024 is no different and the art world is buzzing with excitement over the countless new photoshoots and innovative methods that will undoubtedly shape the landscape of portrait photography. Even now, creatives are hard at work experimenting with portrait photography techniques and styles that will leave viewers speechless, inspired, and impressed.
As a personal travel photographer myself, I recently had the pleasure of capturing some exquisite travel portraits, streets, landscapes, and unique neon-inspired photography while exploring the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur. After careful selection, I am proud to present the ten best cinematic portrait photographs from all that I captured- each promising to be a feast for the senses. So, as we enter the new year, let us celebrate the refreshing approach these photographs represent to the art of cinematic portrait photography, with resonant storytelling and a brand-new perspective on creativity.
All I can say is, that using the SIRUI Sniper 23mm f1.2 lens has elevated my creative endeavors to new heights. It’s been a game-changer for my portrait photography, ushering in a shift towards a more cinematic and evocative style. I was also learning to improve my videography skills which I have been doing so for my Fujifilm recipes on the YouTube channel.
Exploring More Into Cinematic Portraits
Cinematic portraits have always held a special place in my heart. As an avid fan of movies and music videos, I find myself constantly drawn to the idea of capturing that same film-look tone in my photography. There’s something about the way that the light and shadows creep across the subjects’ faces, the way that the colors and contrast combine to create a mood, that just speaks to me on a deep level.
Whether I’m shooting indoors or out in the open air, I’m always looking for ways to infuse my portraits with that same sense of cinematic drama and beauty, which I’ve learned from the composition techniques used in films. And while I know that it can be a challenge to achieve that level of artistry, the reward of seeing my vision come to life is more than worth the effort. I’m glad I can share them with you, and I hope that they can bring some inspiration to your life.
10 SOOC Best Cinematic Portraits 2024
Previously having compiled a list of the best portrait photos in 2021, 2022, and 2023, I now have a brand new collection of photos to kickstart 2024 that I would like to share with you. Wow, time flies eh? These photos have been carefully selected based on their unique qualities, artistic merit, and ability to truly capture the essence and beauty of their subjects.
These will be the first series of the best portrait photos for the first quarter of 2024. Fingers are crossed that there will be more for the rest of the year! Probably there won’t be many talent shoots as I might have to slow down on shooting talents in 2024.
Most photos featured here are shot with my favorite cine lens, the SIRUI Sniper 23mm f1.2 unless mentioned. I have been putting the Fujinon XF35mm f2 aside and might consider selling it off for some cash. 😛 The custom settings that I have been shooting with are the Downtown Bloom & Neon Obscura.
This is one of my favorite random portrait shoots with a traveler who was on holiday, or should I say a stranger? It was a chance encounter at a café with the hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The photo was taken with a SIRUI lens with the Fujicolor Superia recipe and I particularly appreciate the wide-angle that captures the surrounding environment.
I didn’t get near for half-body portraits as I was shooting from 2.5 to 5 meters away just to test out the wide-angle of the lens.
Captured with the SIRUI autofocus lens and Neon Obscura, this stands out as one of my finest neon night portraits in Kuala Lumpur. It’s likely that there won’t be neon portrait projects in the future. While there were a few hit-and-miss out-of-focus shots, this lens truly excels in nighttime photography.
Engaged in a portrait session in Kuala Lumpur, I was focused on creating a modeling profile, commonly referred to as a com card in Malaysia. Throughout the shoot, I explored various styles, ranging from casual and fashion-oriented to cinematic aesthetics. Initially captured with Downtown Bloom, I later switched to Fujicolor Pro 400H — a Japanese film-look recipe that beautifully complements the lush greenery in the scene.
Captured indoors bathed in the gentle morning natural light, this photograph showcases the versatility of the Fujinon XF35mm f2 lens. Its exceptional performance makes it an ideal choice for portrait shots, especially in well-lit environments. The lens’s ability to accentuate details and capture the nuances of the morning light adds depth and dimension to the image, especially the catchlight in the eyes, highlighting the subject in a compelling manner. I was unhappy with the cropped hand, it’s a photography mistakes which is not nice for portraits.
One of my unique ways to shoot involves experimenting with different styles, creating double exposures, and utilizing reflections on a mirror. The Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 film recipe was employed for this particular photo. By skillfully manipulating the reflective properties of a mirror, I infuse an additional layer of complexity and depth into the photographs.
Embarking on a pre-wedding photoshoot amidst the lush greenery of a garden is a delightful and enchanting experience. The verdant surroundings provide a picturesque backdrop, offering a magical touch to the captured moments. This particular pre-wedding photoshoot in Kuala Lumpur holds a special place for me, as it marks one of my initial ventures into professional photography. Undoubtedly, the task presented its challenges, making it a memorable and transformative experience.
Engaging in yet another pre-wedding photoshoot in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the use of natural light added an extra layer of complexity to the experience. Undoubtedly, this particular session proved to be quite challenging, demanding considerable physical effort and inducing a level of stress. Despite the initial hurdles, the end result turned out to be remarkably satisfying.
Reflecting on this experience, I am inclined to emphasize the importance of preparation in pre-wedding photoshoots. While the spontaneity of this particular session led to successful results, having a moodboard and a loosely structured plan can help provide a roadmap, ensuring a more organized and stress-free process. Preparing in advance allows for a smoother execution of ideas, ensuring that the essence of the couple’s story is beautifully captured while mitigating potential challenges that may arise in the absence of a structured plan.
Returning to the renowned Bird Park in Kuala Lumpur in the year 2024, I embarked on a captivating test of the SIRUI Sniper lens, and the results were nothing short of extraordinary! Contrary to my previous visits focused on avian subjects, this time, the lens was put to the test with a different focus—a living and breathing subject taking center stage in the photographs, shot with the Downtown Bloom recipe. . This photo was taken at around 10am and it was already start sweating. Make sure to stay hydrated!
One of my frequent go-to locations in Kuala Lumpur for fashion, travel, and casual photoshoots is a spot that has consistently proven to be a versatile canvas for creative expression. Capitalizing on the innate characteristics of this location, I leverage the compelling elements of leading lines and adhere to the rule of thirds to craft visually stunning compositions that offer a distinctive and captivating appeal for my clientele. A perfect cityscape background shot with the Downtown Bloom.
The ultimate goal in selecting this specific approach was to highlight the softness of the cloudy atmosphere and capture a gentle and flattering glow around the subject. The choice to take shots on a cloudy day not only resulted in a stunning and unique portrait but also emphasized the versatility of leading lines in photography. These lines were integral in guiding the viewer’s gaze towards the central focal point, thereby adding another layer of visual interest to the composition.
The selection of the ten best cinematic portrait photographs from this venture reflects a commitment to storytelling and a fresh perspective on creativity. It is a testament to the transformative power of the SIRUI Sniper 23mm f1.2 lens, acting as a catalyst for a shift towards a more cinematic and evocative style in my work.
Whether immersed in indoor settings or embracing the vast openness of outdoor landscapes, my perpetual quest is to infuse my portraits with the same dramatic essence and beauty found in cinematic compositions. Drawing from the profound composition techniques utilized in films, I navigate the challenges with a determination to achieve a level of artistry that resonates on a profound level. Witnessing my creative vision come to life is a gratifying reward, and I am delighted to share these cinematic moments with you, hoping they bring inspiration and evoke emotions in your life.
As I continue to hone my skills, including delving into videography for film simulation recipes on my YouTube channel, I look forward to contributing to the dynamic evolution of portrait photography in the coming year. Here’s to a year filled with breathtaking visuals, groundbreaking techniques, and the continuous pursuit of artistic excellence.