Advice on shooting portraits outdoors.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kubrick, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. kubrick

    kubrick TPF Noob!

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    I have stumbled across an opportunity to build my portfolio by photographing a local singer/songwriter. I'm intending to shoot using natural light in an outdoor location. I have several simple locations in mind, plain brick walls, stairways, interesting architectural backgrounds and stuff like that. I just wondered if anyone had any advice that will help me look as professional as possible. I will be taking two cameras, a Pentax SLR and a Mamiya TLR plus my tripod light meter and plenty of film. Thanks for any advice you can give.
     
  2. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    If you focus on how you look, instead of how your photos will, it's obvious you're not a pro. No matter how many unneccessary cameras you bring to the shoot.
     
  3. kubrick

    kubrick TPF Noob!

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    Erm...??? sorry, has your budgie just died? I would have thought one 35mm SLR and one 6x6 medium format camera would not constitute anything unnecessary, rather they would give me a huge range of options. I was really hoping that some forum members who don't seem to have any chips on their shoulder would offer simple, practical hints that I may not have thought of.
    You are correct when you say that I'm not a pro, but your incorrect in your assumption that I care what I look like; I'm just after some advice and that's all. My cack-handed attempts at amateur photography can be found here. Take a look, I'm sure it will give you plenty of ammunition to throw some more pointless volleys my way.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/coded_image/
     
  4. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    That says it all. :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Reflectors. Take large reflectors.
     
  6. kubrick

    kubrick TPF Noob!

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    Since you don't seem to have anything better to do Mr Smith....

    When I said I want to look "as professional as possible" I didn't mean that I wanted to look like a professional photographer. It seems you have got this notion into your head and you're running with it. I simply want to execute the job in a professional manner, professional meaning efficient and productive - NOT a person who takes photographs as their profession.
    Although I am normally happy to have my threads peppered with happy smileys, in this instance I would be grateful if your further contributions related directly to my initial question. I'm sure you can find plenty of other newbies on the forum to whom you can administer a healthy dose of the superiority complex you appear to have.

    Thanks fmw, will do.
     
  7. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    Please keep all critisisms constructive.


    Kubrick, I took a very quick glance at your pics...not too shabby!

    I'm not 100% certain on what advice you are looking for though. Are you wanting to know what equipment you should bring? How you should coordinate the shoot?

    One peice of advice I'll pass along...do your best not to be nervous about the shoot...if you are relaxed and natural, that attitude will rub off on your subjects, defnitely making for better pictures! Good luck!
     
  8. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Really keep the little things in mind such as trees or poles in the background that may look like they are growing out of their head. Try not to make it too posed. The subject usually starts to look stiff and uncomfortable. If it is a woman, watch the hands and their placement. Try to pose with the head turned and tilted slightly. Usually flatters the face more.

    And for the record, I understood what you meant. You didn't want to look like you are stumbling around with no ideas.
     
  9. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah... for the record I understood as well and didn't think it was inappropriate or a particularly newb-ish question. Besides... who cares, I'd like to think most of us have outgrown the "I'm going to steal your lunch money" stages of our lives however... I'm sometimes proven wrong. I've always found it coincidental how certain people will try to make others look dumb to feel good, make themselves look "cool" or whatever reason the person has but in reality it just makes them look VERY juvenile and ignorant.

    Anywho... I might be stating the obvious but you might want to consider the time of day you're going. If you can target the late afternoon, early morning when the sun is lower in the sky you might get better lighting angles and less harsh natural light that should compliment skin tones. A warming filter might also help out.

    Good luck.
     
  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    An overcast day usually gives the best light. Direct sunlight is very harsh as main light, and shooting in the shadows with direct sun in the background is distracting.
     
  11. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    :thumbup:
     
  12. kubrick

    kubrick TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies. I think the main thing I'm worried about is that I have never met this girl before! But anyway it's good experience for me and a free photo shoot for her. I will let you guys know how I get on.
     

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