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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 28 Aug 2013 (Wednesday) 17:22
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Tips for portraits

 
Kyle ­ Blunt
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Aug 28, 2013 17:22 |  #1

Hi all. So I am looking to gain experience doing portrait work. A family friend is opening a radio station and wants portrait shots of the DJ's. I am 17 and only have one flash with triggers.
What are your tips and advise on doing such a shoot and does anyone have any good tips on dealing with the people and not sounding like a creep. :)
Also remember, this is an experience shoot, I might get some cash for it but I mainly want it so I can learn in a real world scenario.

Thanks
Kyle


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NinjaKix
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Aug 29, 2013 20:09 |  #2

Outdoor or indoor?


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nathancarter
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Aug 29, 2013 21:18 |  #3

My biggest tip is to practice informally on friends until you're absolutely certain you can pull it off when you're in front of the "real" client. Go in with confidence in your ability to get the job done. Don't go in expecting to learn, fumbling with settings and lighting while the PAYING CLIENT is sitting there waiting on you.

As for the specifics on how to do a one-light portrait: There are a dozen ways to go about it. The least desirable way is to have the flash on the camera, pointed right at the subject.

Since you have a trigger, I'd also recommend spending at least few bucks on an inexpensive light stand, umbrella, and umbrella adapter. For example, THIS (external link) and THIS (external link) and THIS (external link).

After that, it's about light positioning; light power; pose; facial expression, and background.

This single-light portrait was done with one YN-560 Speedlight in the inexpensive umbrella I linked above, that same light stand, and a similar umbrella adapter. I used a white paper background but a blank light-colored wall would have worked just fine here too. You can see the exact positioning of my umbrella by the reflection/catchlight in her eyes...a little higher might have been a slight improvement.

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8212/8344831132_bb727abe7f_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/nathancarter/8​344831132/  (external link)
Jessica_20121201_0155.​jpg (external link) by nathancarter (external link), on Flickr

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Kyle ­ Blunt
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Aug 31, 2013 18:16 |  #4

NinjaKix wrote in post #16251792 (external link)
Outdoor or indoor?

Indoors mainly but there may be a possibility of outdoors :)

nathancarter wrote in post #16251972 (external link)
My biggest tip is to practice informally on friends until you're absolutely certain you can pull it off when you're in front of the "real" client. Go in with confidence in your ability to get the job done. Don't go in expecting to learn, fumbling with settings and lighting while the PAYING CLIENT is sitting there waiting on you.

As for the specifics on how to do a one-light portrait: There are a dozen ways to go about it. The least desirable way is to have the flash on the camera, pointed right at the subject.

Since you have a trigger, I'd also recommend spending at least few bucks on an inexpensive light stand, umbrella, and umbrella adapter. For example, THIS (external link) and THIS (external link) and THIS (external link).

After that, it's about light positioning; light power; pose; facial expression, and background.

This single-light portrait was done with one YN-560 Speedlight in the inexpensive umbrella I linked above, that same light stand, and a similar umbrella adapter. I used a white paper background but a blank light-colored wall would have worked just fine here too. You can see the exact positioning of my umbrella by the reflection/catchlight in her eyes...a little higher might have been a slight improvement.

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/nathancarter/8​344831132/  (external link)
Jessica_20121201_0155.​jpg (external link) by nathancarter (external link), on Flickr

Thanks for the advice, I certainly will do some practice with my brother then, it never even crossed my mind to be fair :o
I definitely will be buying an umbrella and the gear after seeing just how much of a difference they make. :)
Do you have any tips on how to talk and deal with the person I am taking photos of?


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frugivore
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Aug 31, 2013 18:45 |  #5

Kyle Blunt wrote in post #16257028 (external link)
Indoors mainly but there may be a possibility of outdoors :)

Thanks for the advice, I certainly will do some practice with my brother then, it never even crossed my mind to be fair :o
I definitely will be buying an umbrella and the gear after seeing just how much of a difference they make. :)
Do you have any tips on how to talk and deal with the person I am taking photos of?

What do you mean by 'deal with them'? If you mean how to direct them, I tend to be their mirror image when posing and tell them to follow my movements. It's much easier for them to process movements that they see than words that they need to first interpret.

Do you know what constitutes a good portrait?




  
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windpig
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Aug 31, 2013 22:10 |  #6

Excellent example and image there nathancarter.


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nathancarter
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Sep 09, 2013 14:46 |  #7

windpig wrote in post #16257430 (external link)
Excellent example and image there nathancarter.

Thanks :)


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nathancarter
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Sep 09, 2013 15:03 |  #8

Kyle Blunt wrote in post #16257028 (external link)
Do you have any tips on how to talk and deal with the person I am taking photos of?

Be genuine, down-to-earth, and confident.

A little bit of light conversation while you're setting up. Take a few test shots as you're setting up, let them know that you're doing test shots, tell them that they look good.. If you have anything in common, talk about it just a bit. If you listen to their radio station, talk about it a bit. Ask how long they've been with the station, about the program they DJ, etc. Keep it professional but still light.

Keep talking during the shoot. If you clam up or give off an "uncertain" vibe, the subject will feel it and will be uncomfortable, and it'll show in the photos.

Direct the subject through a range of facial expressions and head poses. Blank expression, full smile, half smile, looking up a little bit, not looking directly at the camera, nose pointed directly at the light, nose pointed away from the light. Do a search on Youtube for peter Hurley's "It's All About the Jaw" - if any of the subjects have a pudgy neck or double chin, this technique will help a lot.

Once you have a few keepers "in the can," don't keep them for any longer than necessary. You shouldn't need to spend hours with every subject.


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12Rock
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Sep 11, 2013 12:05 |  #9

Nathan way to step up, it's stuff like your post that make this board valuable & fun to visit . Thanks for taking the time




  
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nathancarter
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Sep 12, 2013 09:36 |  #10

12Rock wrote in post #16288263 (external link)
Nathan way to step up, it's stuff like your post that make this board valuable & fun to visit . Thanks for taking the time

In terms of photographic skill, I wouldn't be where I am today without the help I get from this board. So I try to give back a little in the areas in which I'm confident. :)

I'm still far from a master, but with every shoot I get better.


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Tips for portraits
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