Getting into portrait photography, help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Campbell, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Campbell

    Campbell TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone. I'm looking into straying away from photographing my routine nature scenes so that I can get a little into doing portraits with some of my female friends. Unfortunately, I am not only new to photography in general, but I have no experience with doing 1 on 1 photo shoots. I've done some research online, but I would appreciate it if I could get some tips from my peers about important things to keep in mind, do's and don'ts, etc. Any and all input is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Campbell
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When shooting nature & landscapes...you are almost always working with the light that nature provides...and if you are smart, you take the photos at the time of day when the light is best.

    When you are shooting a person, you have the opportunity to create your own light or at least taking your client to a place where the light is favorable.
    Photography is, after all, all about light.

    As for tips, I think it would help if you are more specific in your questioning. There are millions of way to shoot people...it just depends on what you, the photographer, wants to do. So if you can tell us what you want to do, then we may be more able to give advice toward that.
     
  3. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    A really nice way to do it, as well as helping out your community and causes are to offer portraits as part of an auction for a charity, or to do them free for our service men and women. Give them a free print and sitting, and if you make reprint $, that is great too.
    Good luck and have fun.
     
  4. Campbell

    Campbell TPF Noob!

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    Well I'm doing this for fun and practice. I would never charge any of my friends, this is just something I want to do in my spare time. What I want to be able to do is just take some of my friends to different locations around town, getting decent portrait shots, learning and hopefully having a good time in the process. I just don't want to be driving around town, not get any shots, and waste my subjects time in the process. Although it may be a learning experience for myself, I'm sure my subject is still going to have expectations about the shots I'll be sending them.

    Part of my problem is going to be finding places to take these shots. The other is I'm not all that experience and knowledgable with lighting, something I know is key when doing portraits.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, there is no substitute for practice and experience. I suggest you use a good friend or family member, that won't mind hanging out with you for extended periods of time...and then just start shooting. Try different things; different locations, poses, clothes, camera settings, lighting conditions etc. Sooner or later, you will start to pick up on what you like and what you don't...what works and what doesn't.

    One of the biggest things in portrait photography...is having the subject feel comfortable in front of the camera. As the photographer, this is mainly your responsibility...so that's something to work on.
     
  6. Campbell

    Campbell TPF Noob!

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    Hopefully I can find someone willing to take some time to do that with me. I have one friend that I know would be willing to pose for me, but I know she has worked with professionals, so I don't want to seem like a total newbie with her :confused:

    Maybe that is the wrong way to look at it, though.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If she has worked with professionals...then she may be able to teach you some things. I would approach it that way and ask her as if you are asking for a favor. Maybe offer her prints or files, which she can use for her portfolio.
     

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