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Friday, January 23, 2009

Focus - Portraiture Photography Approach


Intent/Purpose
  • Most deliberate portraits are shot either to flatter the sitter or to express individual character
  • Shoot with the intent to sum up the person as a character
  • Helpful to know how a picture is to be used
Approach
  • It definitely helps to be extrovert and good with people
  • A broad face or broad shoulders look narrower from a three quarter viewpoint instead of square-on
  • Photographed from a low angle someone will look dominant, whereas shown from a high viewpoint they can appear dominated
  • Avoid trapping people into straight-jacketed poses and critical lighting arrangements which are bound to make them look artificial and ill at ease
  • Organize everything for a natural and productive relationship between you and your subjects
Equipment and Techniques
  • It is a good idea to use a tripod anyway
  • For half-length or head shots, pick a slightly longer than normal focal length lens (i.e. 150mm for 6x6cm or 85mm for 35mm)
  • Work from a more distant viewpoint, giving a less steep, more flattering perspective and intimidating the sitter less with your camera equipment
  • Daylight indoors light source often gives excellent natural qualities but it can be difficult to control
  • Try to go for a simple lighting arrangement that allows subjects to change posture easily
  • As soon as possible, stop tinkering with the equipment and concentrate on your relationship with the sitter
  • Use a combination of reflectors, diffusers and Speedlight to achieve ideal indoor lighting. This applies to outdoor shoot as well