Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Portraits 101

As you may have seen, I recently took my first set of portraits (Senior Photos for my cousin Shelley). Well, tonight I'm scheduled for round 2... an impromptu *love* session with my friend Ash and her boyfriend. I don't consider myself a pro by any means, but I like to think I'm getting better with each attempt. I also like to check out other photographers' work to get inspired. Another way I like to get inspired (and make myself feel just a tad like I know what I'm doing) is to read up on tips about portrait photography. The Digital Photography School website has been a great resource for me lately. I am sure there are a ton of sites out there just like it, but there is such a wealth of knowledge on this site, and there are so many different photographers who contribute, I could spend weeks reading through everything.
So today I bring you a snippet from my most recent reading, "10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits". I will share with you a few of my favorites (which I intend to apply at tonight's photoshoot :) To read the rest, click here.
  1. Alter Your Perspective
    "Most portraits are taken with the camera at (or around) the eye level of the subject. While this is good common sense – completely changing the angle that you shoot from can give your portrait a real WOW factor."
    I love this idea. Some of my favorite portrait shots from other photographers are looking straight down on the subject...I especially love engagement/wedding photos where the couple is lying in the grass...hmm, may have to give that a try!
  2. Shoot Candidly
    "Sometimes posed shots can look somewhat…. posed. Some people don’t look good in a posed environment and so switching to a candid type approach can work.
    Photograph your subject at work, with family or doing something that they love. This will put them more at ease and you can end up getting some special shots with them reacting naturally to the situation that they are in. You might even want to grab a longer zoom lens to take you out of their immediate zone and get really paparazzi with them."
    I definitely love this tip. I am all about just hanging out with a subject and snapping away when they don't even notice. I think this is especially good to do with couples, because you can catch little moments that just can't be posed. I will definitely be utilizing this tip tonight!
  3. Take a Series of Shots
    Switch your camera into ‘burst’ or ‘continuous shooting’ mode and fire off more than one shot at a time. In doing this you create a series of images that could be presented together instead of just one static image. This technique can work very well when you’re photographing children – or really any active subject that is changing their position or pose in quick succession.
    This technique produces really fun images, from what I've seen at least. Perhaps I can get a good series of smooches at my shoot tonight :)

Well, those are my 3 favorite tips out of the 10 in the series...all of which I hope to put to use tonight at my photoshoot! For today's picture, I am cheating as it is not one that I took, but it's of me so that counts for something, right?! ;)

This is one of our engagement photos, and aside from it being one of my absolute FAVORITES, it is a good example of the type of photos I hope to capture tonight of Ash & Zach. Wish me luck...

This was taking by the amazing Solars, as are all of my favorite photos. :) And if you visited my wedding blog any time in the past year or just might recognize this photo ;)

I am now super-inspired for my shoot tonight...I will be sure to post a teaser, and a ton of images from our shoot just as soon as I can. :) So stay tuned!

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