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Shutterstock Portrait Studio: Francisco Montiel at CreativeMornings/MexicoCity

For the last three years with Shutterstock, we worked with photographers to capture the spirit of CreativeMornings’ attendees in chapters around the world. Together, we’ve collected over 2,000 portraits.

A good portrait tells the truth about a person in that moment in time—not the whole truth, but close to it. It’s an intimate dynamic that requires connection, patience, and acuity of the subject’s spirit.

We interviewed each talented photographer to learn to see what they see when they raise the camera.

Meet Francisco Montiel, photographer.

set1 What is it about portraiture that inspires you?

To capture in a photograph the essence of a person, It inspires me to know that I’m doing something that I’m passionate about, something that makes my life every day. Knowing that the work I do is pleasing to the people, to realize that the person portrayed is satisfied with the final result.

Portraiture is a personal exchange—how do you get your subjects to open up? What do you say or do?

Sometimes I like to mention some joke to relax and be comfortable, I let the person in front of my lens know how grateful I am for giving me the opportunity and the confidence that I can be able to reflect his or her soul in a photo.

At what moment do you know you successfully captured someone’s spirit or personality? How do you know?

In a session you will always find good photos, some of them by composition, lighting, framing, but there is always one that has a different essence, envelops you and lets you know that you have gotten the image you are looking for.


What advice would you give to people just picking up a camera, ready to explore the wonderful art of photography?

I would tell them to practice daily, that there is not a single day when they do not leave without their camera. Let them know all the photographic rules and then break them and find their own style.

See more of the CreativeMornings/MexicoCity portraits.

Discover more of Francisco’s work on his website and Instagram.

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