Monday, April 1, 2013

Turning portraits inside out

A very enjoyable portrait session on a lovely spring day with a lovely subject - that's a fun way to work!

Stephanie and I began by getting acquainted and chatting about the main purpose of the session, the specific portrait desired. However, I alway like to be flexible and try to be creative. We never know what worthwhile result may come from an experiment or idea that wasn't part of the original plan.

Our first shots were done in the studio, against a dark background that complemented her light hair, dress, and skin tones. I generally prefer (and find my customers usually agree) eye contact for any portrait that is intended for publicity or business use. However, I was drawn to one early shot with Stephanie looking away into the distance. This can easily look artificial or simply disconnected, but to me this is a contemplative moment, quite realistic even if partially posed.

It was easy to elicit smiles, and even though the look may not be ideal for serious uses, I'm really glad we caught this happy expression.

Once we got rolling, we quickly did variations, making small adjustments to lighting patterns to suit posture and expression.

I will always feel an attachment for monochrome images. You can call it black and white if you wish, but b&w photos actually consist of shades of gray, of course, and if all of the tones have a tint, I'd say it's better described as monochrome. It's color, but only one color. In the case of the next shot, a kind of antique gold worked perfectly for my taste.

I don't often get an opportunity to do a posed profile shot, so this was my request. I like it a lot.

The next two shots are among my favorites. I like them in monochrome and in full color.

The weather was being cooperative, so we headed outside. I caught a shot through the open studio door, minimizing the distraction of the background by blurring it and overexposing it.

Almost the same pose (unplanned).

I know it's silly, but a sloping driveway suggested an easy imitation of an ad campaign that I remember from my childhood, when there was no digital photography. I gave it an antique tint to go with the idea.

Steps are for sitting.

Posts are for framing.

Trees are for texture, and something to lean on. (Besides Klopman. You did follow the old ad campaign link, didn't you?)

It was fun to have this classic pose fall into place, but...

...when the expression is this engaging, then I know we've caught what we wanted, and it has been a good shoot!

If you have your own ideas for a portrait, drop me a line and let's discuss the possibilities.


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