Portrait shots - first timer advice required

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by David J Colbran, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. David J Colbran

    David J Colbran TPF Noob!

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    Hello there,

    Can you help me please. I'm relatively new to photography and have been asked to take some portrait head shots for a company website. I have a camera and am fairly confident using it outside, and up to now have concentrated on candid street photography.

    This is the first time I'm going to be staging shots indoors and would really appreciate some expert help from you guys. I'm a little concerned about the lighting in the main, should I boost the natural lighting in the office where the shoots will take place? I've been told that you can get a small natural light which will help, but I don't know which one to go for.

    Also what should I use as a back drop? I'm tempted to just bring a white sheet and use that - is that sensible? Or should I not bother and throw the background out of focus / do it post production using Photoshop.

    Any advice to a newbie would be brilliant - this will be only my second photographic sale, and I am really keen to do a great and professional job.

    Thanks in advance,

    David
     
  2. Scurra

    Scurra TPF Noob!

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    I can only comment on the background thing as I'm still a little confused about the best kind of lighting for any given subject. But I would say it's up to either you or your clients. While a white background may well look pleasant, it may better serve the purpose of the company to have a little bit of their workplace, be it in focus or not, in the back of the image. A mildly blurred office scene for example behind your main subject could give it the company feel. I have seen this before on TV News here in the UK, they place a frosted sheet of glass behind the news readers and in front of the news office, this gives the effect of an office environment without detracting too much from the main subject of the photo.

    However it is at your or the companies discretion :)

    Hope i've been of help.
     
  3. David J Colbran

    David J Colbran TPF Noob!

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    Cheers Scurra,

    Having visited the office i think i will be OK for lighting - massive almost ceiling to floor windows. And I think I'm going to take the shoots in front of a bookcase, as it's for an academic research team, and in any case the images are going to end up on a website resized fairly small, so not as much of an issue as I initially thought.

    Thanks, David
     
  4. David J Colbran

    David J Colbran TPF Noob!

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    The shoot yesterday went really well, ended up using a white screen as a background, and had ample natural light, which softened up the portraits.

    The only problem I had was that a couple of the subjects had glasses on, and no matter where I positioned them, there was a fair bit of reflection from lenses. I've done some post production in Photoshop, and guess that this is a common problem. But wanted to know is there anything else I can do to avoid this in the future? Any tips or hints?

    Thanks, David
     
  5. Cole_Alex

    Cole_Alex TPF Noob!

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    Hello and glad to hear your shoot went ok. I have done some portraits now where peole have glasses. I have used the simple trick in the past of moving the persons eyeglass arms up above there ear just slightly to direct the face of the glasses down a bit...resulting in less glare and potential flash spots as I call them. Try this next time and mabe it will work for you...The trick is to make sure the eyeglass arms are not visibly out of place looking.

    Have fun and keep shooting!

    alex
     
  6. SWFLA1

    SWFLA1 TPF Noob!

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    There are a number of ways to handle the eyeglass situation... The IDEAL way to handle it is to either have the client borrow a similar pair of frames from their optician (a very common practice) or to remove the lenses from the frames if possible. This not only avoids the "glass glare", but it also eliminates the distortion in the photo on the cheek when looking through the glasses.....

    another way to handle it is to have the client pose with their head tilted so the glare is not visible to the camera - this works, but can put the client in an unnatural pose, so be careful with it...

    other than that, it's either PS or manual touch-up...

    Good Luck!
     

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