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Shutterstock Portrait Studio: Heather Troutman at CreativeMornings/Atlanta

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 Heather Troutman, photographer.


What is it about portraiture that inspires you?

There’s something about a really simple portrait that embraces the depth and complexity of the subject. With portraiture, I’m inspired by the people that sit in front of the camera and tell me even a minute of their story. It feels hopeful and real.


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

Portraiture requires transparency from both of us. I can’t be a static observer. I’m looking to capture a moment of their personality, life, sense of self… therefore that requires some vulnerability on my end too. I like to ask questions, find a place of connection, and tend to make jokes and laugh at myself… it helps ease tension. ;)

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

To be honest I don’t aways know right away! I don’t want to be looking at my camera a lot during a session, but when there are small moments of confidence, emotion, or honesty, I’m like “ooohh I think that was a good shot!”


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

Practically, I would advise people to photograph a lot, learn from past photographers, and don’t compare yourself too much:) Also, photography has a way of slowing you down to observe really beautiful details in life if you let it!

See more of the CreativeMornings/Atlanta portraits.

Discover more of Heather’s work on her website and Instagram.

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