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Shutterstock Portrait Studio: Lang Leichhardt at CreativeMornings/Louisville

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 Lang Leichhardt owner of Lang Thomas Photography.

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What is it about portraiture that inspires you?

I’ve always loved portrait work as long as I have been into photography. I think that it comes down to the fact that I love people and have always found them fascinating. I love how when you look at a portrait, you get a glimpse of who they are at that moment in time.

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

I usually tell them how these things can be awkward at first. Saying it out loud and not ignoring it helps them get past whatever is keeping them from being themselves. I tell them how great they look, and then start cracking jokes. After a minute they begin to open up.

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

That all depends on the person. If they are light hearted, I know when I can successfully get that extra wrinkle in their smile that doesn’t come out unless they are really experiencing joy. If they are more reserved, I respond by capturing the right stoic look that embodies their quiet nature.

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

My advice is always to shoot, shoot, shoot, and then shoot some more. Photography is just like playing a sport - the more you do it, the better you get. That and being able to find the right light. Once you know how to find good light, you’re 90% there.

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See more of the CreativeMornings/Louisville portraits.


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

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