Being that I’m primarily a wedding and documentary photographer, it’s not every day that I get the chance to take a portrait of a celebrity. Add to this that I live in Northwest Arkansas, which isn't really a hub for celebrities, makes it even less likely for me — especially one as well known as William H. Macy. So I thought it would be interesting to line out how I pulled it off and got the final image.
Hopefully by now people have had a chance to get familiarized with videos that are circulating featuring three to four photographers all getting together for a day and shooting the same model. It's an awesome idea that can really bring together a small group of creatives for a fun and challenging group project and photoshoot. It seems like a great way to bring people together with a creative vision and just plain make art. This video is that very concept brought to us straight from London.
A smile can make or break your portrait. While shooting the person who is forcing a fake smile, it can be obvious in a lot of people who aren't used to "smiling for the camera" and ruin the shot, while a genuine natural smile can make your photo that much better. So how do you get your subject to give you a better, more natural smile?
A simple question for you: do you find that from January to December, over the course of a given year, your photography changes along with the seasons and the environment? Kind of a loaded question though, right? The answer probably depends quite a bit on what exactly your brand of photography is. Of course, other factors play a major role like your location and whether your work is outdoors or in the studio too. When is the last time that you sat down and looked at your body of work? Aside from technical improvements, do you notice any trends that may coincide with various times of the year?
In many of the photography groups I am part of, I constantly come across the question of which lens should someone get as a portrait photographer. We all have different styles, and depending on what type of portraits and what other genres of photography we usually shoot in, we could all recommend you a different lens or pair of lenses.
The concept of a portrait lens has always baffled me. When I first started out in photography, reading the Internet and listening to other photographers would have led me to believe that I needed something around the 85mm or 135mm focal lengths if I wanted to photograph a person. Anything else wouldn’t work. Well, that simply isn’t true, is it? Any lens can be used as a portrait lens. In fact, the moment you photograph the likeness of a person with it, it becomes a portrait lens. So why not experiment using different lenses in your portraiture?
What’s stopping you? We all have at least one imperfection that we wish wasn't part of us so that it would be easier to achieve our dreams. I often wonder what my photography and life would be like if my extreme anxiety disappeared, if I had more money, physical strength, and even if I were a man instead of a woman. Our flaws that hinder us are often hard to deal with, but once we embrace them for what they are the outcomes can be surprisingly perfect.
I found Irene Rudnyk a few months back when I was looking more into portrait photography. I found that her work stood out amongst a lot of other work because of how clean and straightforward her style was. In this video, Rudnyk goes over how she shoots in a small bedroom inside her house using only natural light and a reflector. This video goes to show that a good photo really can be created anywhere if you know exactly what you want and how to do it.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about using the Fujifilm GFX 50S as a travel camera. As part of that article, I touched briefly on using it for portraiture. I also touched briefly on using the GF 110mm f/2 lens and a few autofocus issues that I had. Today, I would like to dive a little deeper into using this camera for portraiture and my experience with it. We’ll take a look at focusing, sharpness, skin tones, working with flash, and handholding the camera. Finally, I’ll wrap up by giving you my personal feelings about the camera and whether or not it could be an effective portrait camera.
It started in the year 1900 with a trip to Montana to photograph the ritual Sun Dance of the Blackfoot Tribe, and ended with photographer Edward Curtis having photographed 100 Native American tribes, producing 2,200 photographs that would come to comprise a 20 volume anthology called "The North American Indian," bankrolled by investor J.P. Morgan to the tune of $75,000. In the article written by Elisabeth Sherman for All That Is Interesting, you can see 33 of his most stunning portraits.
Ah, the golden hour, that magical time when photographers emerge from their editing caves to maniacally snap as many portraits as they can before the sun goes down. Ok, I exaggerated slightly, but most of us do love the golden hour. Here are some helpful tips to get better shots during that special time.
There are several different ways to light up your subject for portraits, sometimes we can get caught up in needing more lights for our sets while forgetting there are other tools that can help. Reflectors can very beneficial in bouncing additional light in a cost-effective way. Whether it’s the sun, available light, or your own artificial light, reflectors can help you control the light. Aaron Nace over at Phlearn shows several ways to use a reflector, or a few, on-set to improve your portraits.
If you work with people, whether it be kids, families, seniors, adults, or professional models, male or female, then you have almost certainly shot a TFP (trade for print) shoot before. While the definition of TFP is flexible these days, as most commonly we mean "trade time for digital images" rather than physical prints, these kinds of shoots have and will continue to be an industry staple. The most important aspect of these shoots is the one thing that often gets forgotten: getting a return on your investment of time.