Hot tips for PORTRAIT photography

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Sharkbait, Apr 9, 2005.

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  1. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    If you've got any good tips for portrait photography...good poses...good camera settings...things to do or not do...post them here! :thumbsup:


    :cheers:
    -John
     
  2. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Dbl-post
     
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  3. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Great pose idea that's always a winner, especially with moms when you use it on the kid...

    Have kid sit facing 3/4 toward the camera, light from the side, and have them look directly up into the light. Maybe give a bit of spill light from behind to light the hair, and it gives a very angelic appearance. I'll try to get an example up sometime...
     
  4. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    A suggestion for sibling pairs is to have the older read to the younger. It servers a dual purpose....gives them something to do and also allows for some macro shots of the younger child without them noticing.

    I've done shots like John suggested, I can usually get them into that pose by asking them to tell me if my light has gone off, that way they keep looking at the light to make sure and you get get a few shots fired off :mrgreen:

    Usually though, I stay away from posed shots. Encourage the children to play, read, run, jump, etc. When possible I love to shoot outdoors with my 70-200 to get some great DOF and use available light with a reflector/diffuser as needed.
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For classic portaits, both in the studio and outdoors, I always use a bit of vignetting. This helps create a feeling of some sort of foreground and will draw the viewer's eye to the center (subject) of the portrait.

    On my film cameras, I use the old Leon vignetters on a bellows lens hood. This is effective only with long lenses. A normal lens will allow the vignette to start to come into focus.

    Digitally, I do this in Photoshop with the oval marquee tool, feather selection, select inverse, and then darken the selection.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    When composing your shots, here's a couple of things you may like to include:

    Catchlights in both eyes - try and adjust your lighting to get these to shine out for a natural look.
    Nose shadow cast shouldn't go over mouth - when you're lighting from above and the side, a nose leaves a shadow towards the side of the mouth, cancel this out slightly with a reflector or soft light to reduce distration on facial shadow.

    Rob
     
  7. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    A couple of flattery options:

    Use a longer lens and gain height and a bit of angle on your subject to give a more flattering look than a front-on mugshot.

    Large hipped subjects often benefit from a slight side turn to reduce width (ooh, controversial!)
     
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  8. Jaffapie

    Jaffapie TPF Noob!

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    A great tip for taking photographs of difficult babies/toddlers - tape a little bit of sticky tape around their index finger. They'll become entranced by it, and their hands will stay together, and they will sit still!

    Also, the tape won't show up in your photograph :) works like a treat
     
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  9. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    Cool idea!
     
  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Here's an example (image is © Celebrity Kids Studios, obviously. ;) )
     
  11. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    that's a neat idea Jaffapie! I did something simmilar but... uhh never mind... the kid was not so excited about what I did to him!

    I really like portraits with father and a toddler. Especially when a kid is lying on a fathers chest and sleeping. The light from behind adds much to the scene. I tried to do this but the kid woke up suddenly :(
     
  12. Tally Ho

    Tally Ho TPF Noob!

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    TWENTY FIVE RULES

    FOR BETTER PORTRAITURE


    I obtained these rules from "The Master Book of Portraiture and Studio Management" by Don Peterson, Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman. Published by Studio Press, Twain Harte, CA.

    Correct Posing Stool Height- Knee high for normal subjects, two to three inches lower for thin subjects, full height for heavy set subjects.

    Solid Pyramidal Base- The body should not be turned away from the camera any more than 45 degrees. Any further and the head has no solid foundation for support.

    Sit Tall- No round shoulders or slumping over.

    Lean Forward Slightly-"Over the belt buckle." This eliminates the static straight up and down look and will give a feeling of motion to the portrait.

    Project The Chin-If your subject has a full or double chin, projecting the chin and a slightly higher camera position should remove it.

    Proper Eye Direction-Generally speaking, the eyes should follow the direction of the nose.

    Proper Head Tilt- Never tip a man’s head to the high (feminine) shoulder as he will look feminine. Women's heads can be tipped toward either shoulder, but the feminine shoulder is more appealing.

    Proper Camera Height-Eye level for head and shoulders, chin level to chest level for ¾ length and chest level to waist level for full length portraits. An even lower camera height for heavy set brides will add height and dignity to the subject.

    Avoid Football Shoulders-Shoulders should be turned 30 to 45 degrees away from the camera depending on the weight of the subject. The thinner the subject, the less you should turn the shoulders.

    Watch the Nose and Cheek Line-The far eye should either been seen or not seen but never ½ of it. This will also prevent your subject’s nose from looking large and obtrusive.

    Watch Recessed Cheek Line with Glasses. I usually have the subject obtain empty eyeglass frames which will solve the problem immediately. Otherwise you may have sacrifice good lighting and turn the head straight toward the camera.

    Watch Main Light Shadow on Lip-A shadow across the serious face is OK, but a shadow across a smiling face will darken the front teeth.

    Don’t Overuse Hair and Accent Lights-The hair light should skim the hair, not blast it. Same for the accent lights.

    If It Bends, Bend It-Wherever there is a joint, "break" it.

    Don’t Stack Hands-Either on top of one another or on top of the knees. Seperate them and place them between the joints.

    Subdue the Near hand-The hand(s) nearest to the lens will appear larger than what they actually are. Make sure they are not projected toward the lens.

    Keep Hands Within The Range of Focus-If the hands show in a portrait, they should be in focus.

    Place the Weight on the Back Foot-(Standing poses.) This will put the hips and shoulders at a pleasing angle. (An addendum of the "If It Bends" rule.)

    Watch Feet, Hip, and Shoulder Position-(Gals) The foot nearest the camera, should be pointed toward the camera, have no weight on it, and she should bend her knee and foot slightly toward the other leg. This will cock the foot up on its edge and give a pleasing "S" curve to her body.

    Do Not Photograph Two Heads at the Same Height- Ideally the eyes of the shorter subject (usually the female) should be at the same height as the lips of the taller subject.

    Have No Head Directly Above Another-All heads should not only be at different heights (rule 20) but also not directly above or below another subject.

    Avoid Crotch Shots-Raising the leg closest leg to the camera in a standing pose (and putting it on a posing stool) or raising the closest leg in a seated pose will prevent shooting up the subject’s crotch.

    Use The Right Key and Good Taste-Generally speaking a subject dressed in all white, looks best in a medium to high key background. Conversely, a subject dressed in dark clothing looks best on a medium to dark (low key) background.

    If The Subject Has Two of Them, Try and Make Them Different. Hands, at different levels are more interesting than hands foldedor side by side. Same with feet, knees, hips, arms, shoulders and elbows.

    Don’t Photograph The Back of Women's Hands. Always photograph the side of women's hands. Fists are masculine, open hands are feminine.

    Another good book is "BODY PARTS-Don Blair’s Guide To Lighting and Posing."
     
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