Hot tips for PORTRAIT photography

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

  1. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    I highly recommend a 50 mm/1.4 lens for portraits with digital, or an 85 mm prime. I shoot 99% of my portraits with the 50 mm/1.4


     
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  2. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    One thing I have recently learned the hard way . . .

    KEEP THAT CHIN DOWN!!!

    :lol:
     
  3. crotograph

    crotograph TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for saying that Jodie, I have been doing the 90mm Secor C med. tele for a long while. I like the 50mm f 1.4 Nikkor for more casual shots. (that's on my FTN, not D70s) Fuji NPH seems to work well for me also) Of course they're both prime or close.
     
  4. diGIgirl

    diGIgirl TPF Noob!

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    Another kid tip.. ( I loved that tape one by the way!!)

    Similar, but if you want a kid to look or point or have interest in something take a little tiny sticker and stick it to that object/person. If the child is young it will take some time for them to be able to unstick that sticker...long enough for a good 5 or 6 shots! I use it a lot if I want a child to point to or show interest in mommys pregnant belly!


    Works like a charm!

    n----->:greenpbl:
     
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  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Here's a trick some of you kids probably don't know. I bet some of the seasoned (read: old. jk) photographers will know it. It used to be a very popular wedding shot, back in the day before PS.

    Flash Silhouette
    1) Position a strong flash behind a person or couple, and take the shot, backlighting it enough to really darken them out.
    2) Keep them in the same position, ditch the flash, double expose.

    You get this really brilliant halo/silhouette around your subject(s).
     
  6. ElectricHarmony

    ElectricHarmony TPF Noob!

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    Be patient and let the subjects be their natural selves, especially kids! Those make the most precious portraits :mrgreen:
     
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  7. Rolleistef

    Rolleistef TPF Noob!

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    One may avoid small apertures, especially with hi-resolution lenses, MF and elderly models, because the slighest skin imperfection will appear.
    For instance, if you take a 'flex and stop down to 11, image quality will be tremendous, but the model may not be entirely satisfied.
     
  8. JJP

    JJP TPF Noob!

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    When that works, it works brilliantly. But sometimes it just doesn't happen. :(
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well... I tired the tape thing today. Oh well.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Ken_D

    Ken_D TPF Noob!

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    When photgraphing toddlers (4 and under) I have a bowl of suckers (lollypops) and with permission from the parent(s) I bribe them to behave and let me take pictures of them. By letting one of the parents hold the sucker off to one side, I can get the child to face in that direction most of the time. By having a selection of flavors, I have the parent hold them just out of camera range and let the child decide which one they want, again by directing the parent, I can usually get the child to look in the direction I want.

    Ken D
     
  11. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    One photographer I met a long time ago used a technique with babies and toddlers that I will never forget. This is especially for toddlers who are shy, scared, cranky, stubborn, or refuse to smile for whatever reason (around 1-3 years of age, maybe 4). Have a kids soap bubble container and a bubble wand handy. If the child is stubborn to smile, turn your back and blow a big soap bubble, then float it gently toward the child. I guarantee it will soften even the most sour of faces. But it may take a couple of tries to warm them up. I never met a kid at that age who couldnt resist popping a big soap bubble, and its good clean fun if you dont overdo it. Get your shots in quick, because the smiles may not last.
     
  12. JubbaKing

    JubbaKing TPF Noob!

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    During the session, do everything you can to gain the trust of your subject. Even if everything on them looks perfect, fix stray hairs even if you don't see any. Adjust coat jackets and ties, even if they look fine.

    Talk to them...I repeat, TALK TO THEM! You're a stranger and they'll likely be very reserved around you (especially high school seniors) so it is your job to make them feel at ease with the camera and in essence, you. If you can get them to talk about themselves then you've done a great job. Who doesn't like to talk about themselves? It's all about finding common ground with them.

    When I adjust a pose, I like to explain (in simple terms) why I am having them pose that way. After tilting a head a certain way, I might say, "This is going to give more curvature to your body, which is always a good thing in a portrait and it will make you look beautiful." Just something that they'll understand and be less nervous about doing. Put yourself in their position--they don't want to be there 99% of the time so you have to get them to warm up to you. In the end, if they enjoyed your personality, they'll love the portraits that much more, even before seeing them. You are selling your photographs even before you sit down with them a week later in a projection room, proof room, etc. etc. The more they enjoy you, the better they'll look and the more they'll buy.

    Compliment the subject. They feel weird doing the things we ask them so you must assure them that you know what you're doing and that they're going to look great. For girls, I like to use words like beautiful, gorgeous, elegant, graceful, etc. to let them know how they look. Just saying, "This makes you look pretty" almost sounds amateur don't you think? Women want to look beautiful, graceful, elegant, etc. so why not tell them they are? For men I use words that they associate more with as well. ie: cool, nice, excellent, slick, etc. etc. It can vary by the age of the subject.

    I myself have always loved to laugh and joke around. I like to associate myself with people who are like me in that regard. My sense of humor is my greatest quality in my opinion. Unfortunately, not everyone out there wants to joke around when I do so when someone comes to be photographed and I can tell they are not the laughable type, I still make it an effort to make them comfortable but moreso by being polite and freindly and professional. I'll still pop off a few jokes here and there but nothing with the goal of getting a huge laugh-just a way to get me to smile a little bit. Dry people are my biggest challenge to work with so I have to keep myself...myself. If that makes sense...probably doesn't but oh well. :)
     
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