Senior Portraits - Concept Test #1

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by tirediron, May 29, 2016.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As some of you may know, "senior portraits" are not a big thing in Canada, in fact they're virtually non-existent up here, but after seeing the quality of work that Life Touch and the other main players in the school portrait market are producing, I've decided to go after a slice of that pie next year.

    I'm going to market this as a boutique service, and my concept (right now at least) is going to be offer a traditonal portrait and two "lifestyle" images. To that end, I need to work on life-style images for teenagers.

    I tried some initial experiments today with a friend's son in his basketball uniform. Bearing in mind that these are strictly tests, I'd appreciate input both from a photography/portrait perspective, and from a parent's.

    1.[​IMG]

    2.[​IMG]


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here we have a not-so attractive uniform, and a fairly standard b-ball pose, but the lifestyle shots that I have seen are usually more about the person, and actually less about the b-ball. IOW: the student posing in a completely different place than where basketball is usually played, such as in front of city hall, the school, or on railroad tracks, and the player (dressed in street clothes) is doing something like spinning the ball on one finger.

    You probably will not have easy access to the basketball court, but that is where I would want the portrait if basketball is to be highlighted. But not some playground b-ball goal with an iron fence surrounding it.

    In the second, the ball has obscured the young gentleman's boyishly manly chest, and part of the uniform graphics. If the player has a number on the front, he would want that number clearly visible.

    The parents are going to want to see him smile, and his teammates would want to see a bared-teeth fighting grimace. So one shot of each style pose, and they'll buy both for sure.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good points!

    We were supposed to some more shooting, but that had to be postponed. The uniform isn't ideal, but it is what 'tis; and as there was no number, I felt that the shadow, while not ideal was liveable withable. I was trying to get "kill" and "game face" but that's the best it got, in fact, most of them were of him trying not to laugh. As far as the smiling, my idea is to leave that for the regular portrait.

    To clarify, by "lifestyle" I meant shots other than the traditional portrait. I'm thinking one sports/team/school activity and one just doing whatever.
     
  4. Rick50

    Rick50 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not knowing anything about "lifestyle" I'll just say the lighting in both looks really good.
     
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  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    As usual your technical abilities are spot on, however speaking as a parent, I would prefer a setting more appropriate to the sport.
     
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  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Rick!
    Thanks - appreciate the insight. By that do you mean this sort of 'hero' shot on a court, or? The way I see this is that it would be presented along with the standard portrait and an action/playing shot.
     
  7. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Not unless you plan on shooting during a game. Way back when, I shot a lot of basketball games for the paper, the faces of the players were priceless when the only thing on their mind was making the shot. My feeling is that any attempt to "stage" that would look it. I would think any number of settings would be appropriate from the floor, to the stands, to the locker room. Even if blurry, the background would create the sense of unity with the sport.
     
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  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmmm... the locker room idea is an interesting one.
     
  9. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    If the school has a display case/wall for trophies, is another good place, especially for a star player. Reflections off the glass, etc.. Don't discount the action shots on the court during a game. Having lived down south for 30 years I can tell you parents are fanatical about football (not the round ball kind) from the pee wee through college. Catch their son in a good play on the field and price is no object. I suspect that basketball families are also the same. Don't forget the parents of Cheerleaders, they are just as proud. Cheerleader competitions are a big thing here.
     
  10. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I say get out of the studio for all of them. Most of the great senior shots I've seen have been taken outdoors.
     
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  11. MSnowy

    MSnowy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I like the idea of a locker room setting. Not crazy about a dark background. I think the dark background works nice with your veteran portraits but not here. Also if your going to use this ball I would wipe it down with water before shooting.
     
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  12. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I agree to a point, Peg, but I hope photographers will strive to broaden their horizons and avoid the cliche deserted warehouses, railroad tracks, and graffiti-scarred inner city back alleys.

    And I don't mean to imply that is what you were thinking of.
     
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