giving a portfolio a shot

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by trexon, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Studio7Four

    Studio7Four No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with this - my studio is in my garage. Sometimes you have to move things out of the way (furniture, or in my case a car) and then move it back after you shoot. Not the worst thing to have to do...

    You can keep an eye on sites like Craigslist and eBay for cheap lighting equipment - lights and modifiers, such as reflectors. But in the meantime don't be afraid to use window light as if it's a single light source, particularly if you have a north-facing window so you're getting indirect sunlight. Treat the window as if it is a softbox and experiment with your subject's position to it (near/far, change the angle of the pose, etc.). This will help show the impact of your light source's (strobe and modifier) size and position when you do move to using them. Then add a reflector to bounce some of that window light back from the other side, even if that reflector is only a piece of poster board or a white sheet. Lots of good learning can be done - and good images made - on the cheap.


     
  2. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    I agree with others' comments regarding studio space - a spare room in the house, garage, or even talking to schools or churches to see if they have a gym, cafeteria, or other space you could use might be good options. If none of that is available, then you work with what you have, which is a wide variety of outdoor or public locations.

    To me, your photos have a very urban feel to them, and in general for an urban flair they're good. I think you're off to a great start. For a portfolio I think you would do well to include some more "elegant" shots - dress your subjects up more for portraits than urban, and find some areas in parks with flowers, trees, or shrubs as backgrounds; or take a make-shift background on location with you. Learn and work on using the natural light around you mixed with a speedlight (or two). Learning to place, use & blend flash lighting with ambient (natural) lighting to create different moods in your photos is going to be huge for you.

    This would go a long ways to showing you have versatility & creativity - that you can think out of the box, create photos, and tell a story with them, not simply just click a shutter button.
     
  3. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd keep working on composition etc. I don't see why you can't keep shooting outdoors and keep an eye out for some studio opportunity in the future.

    I like the rooftop idea, I'd think about vantage point and notice backgrounds, take a step or two and think about how that changes the perspective. I like the last one of that set, although I can't decide if I like the subject leaning against the pole or not. But that's a great place to get more than one photo by making sometimes a slight difference in vantage point. Try playing around with it some if you have a subject who's willing for you to take some time to try out different vantage points, etc.

    I'd work on noticing details too, in the one portrait I'd either have the hair a little spiky or comb it down, but it looks unintentional to have a few flyaway hairs sticking up. With the first one of the young woman, I'd think about where to place her in relation to the cars; they aren't that interesting and just seem to be visually distracting. I'd think more interesting doorway and brick, less cars, and maybe flip the camera to frame it vertically. Even if the background's out of focus, there can be blobs of shape and color there that need to be considered in the composition.

    Do you ever look at the Photo District News? They do have a student discount of half off subscriptions, although part of each issue you can see on their website. http://www.pdnonlne.com

    Are you familiar with Photoville? might be worth checking out if you can get there.

    Maybe get to photography events if/when you can, I've found you never know what you might learn or who you might meet or if it could lead to an opportunity. If nothing else there may be little snacks on toothpicks.
     

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