Portrait photography advice?

pixmedic

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Derrel

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chuasam

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I've done a similar shot outdoors too
View attachment 137829 View attachment 137830
Those. Are. Awesome.


That is all.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Agreed. VERY striking! So good I gave the post the "Winner" badge, pretty rare for me to dole one of those out. Kick-a** work, @chuasam!
Thanks.

here is some context
DSC_5343.jpg
 

Derrel

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***k yeah! (did he mean heck yeah??? You decide....)
 

chuasam

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With apologies to the OP for potential derailment....

You missed the point entirely. My avatar was a self portrait doing what I did. That is exactly the message I was trying to convey. Most people would see the self portrait and say "photographer" and you missed that entirely. You should make portraits any way you like. I was simply suggesting a better way.

My advice is always the same. Posed studio shots are, frankly, boring. Photograph your friend doing what he does. The best portraits don't look like portraits.
Frank... let's be objective. Your posts above make it pretty clear that you think ALL posed studio shots are bad, and that we should all be outside chasing our clients around. Fair enough; we'll accept that as your opinion on the matter (despite the fact that my education in the English language would still contend that those are phrased as alleged fact). Explain to me how you would have created this gentleman's portrait. He is a WWII Veteran, 91 years old I believe...
_DSC1555_Pidwer_WEB.jpg
I would have asked him what his happiest moment was and try to recreate that in a photograph. I mean your lighting and focus is spot on but it doesn't portray what he is like as a person. I mean your work is solid but there is no sense of risk and adventure. Something to make me look at an image and find myself unable to look away. I want to be able to feel something when I look at an image.

A good image makes me wonder "how did the photographer think to take that?"
 
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weepete

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So I did a headshot shoot with my wee sis yesterday evening. Turns out she needed one for work as she is starting a new job and they wanted her to provide one. As I got basically a pop up studio anyway we set it up for some shots after I'd finished work. thankfully she was very patient with me effing about with the lighting and we did a fair bit of shooting, culled them tonight. The good thing was it was a very collaberative shoot, with the whole selfie thing these days she aleady had an idea of how she wanted to look and how to get it. With a few tweeks. Another good thing was we got some lighting that was interesting (for me) and we hot a fair few where she was happy with how she looked. Even had a bit of a laugh doing it.

I've gained a new respect for portrait photograpers, my backgrounds were still pretty poor, though I think there are a few that are useable, maybe more if I can salvage in photoshop. It was really hard to get distance though and I made a lot of mistakes. A third light (possibly even a 4th) would have been useful. Using the LCD was not great for a quick review and the lighting seemed different when I got them in lightroom. So we'll see what hapens in post, I took 91 shots (not all of her) culled that down to 60 with the exposure tests gone culled that doen to 35 where she liked her pose then down to the 9 that she liked the most. Now just need to edit them and get them to her by Monaday!
 

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So I did a headshot shoot with my wee sis yesterday evening. Turns out she needed one for work as she is starting a new job and they wanted her to provide one. As I got basically a pop up studio anyway we set it up for some shots after I'd finished work. thankfully she was very patient with me effing about with the lighting and we did a fair bit of shooting, culled them tonight. The good thing was it was a very collaberative shoot, with the whole selfie thing these days she aleady had an idea of how she wanted to look and how to get it. With a few tweeks. Another good thing was we got some lighting that was interesting (for me) and we hot a fair few where she was happy with how she looked. Even had a bit of a laugh doing it.

I've gained a new respect for portrait photograpers, my backgrounds were still pretty poor, though I think there are a few that are useable, maybe more if I can salvage in photoshop. It was really hard to get distance though and I made a lot of mistakes. A third light (possibly even a 4th) would have been useful. Using the LCD was not great for a quick review and the lighting seemed different when I got them in lightroom. So we'll see what hapens in post, I took 91 shots (not all of her) culled that down to 60 with the exposure tests gone culled that doen to 35 where she liked her pose then down to the 9 that she liked the most. Now just need to edit them and get them to her by Monaday!
Sounds like a very good portrait session,weepete. Good to hear you got plenty of keepers.
 
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weepete

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I'd like to thank everyone for their posts and suggestions, it's been really helpful and I appreciate the input and help. Here is my favorite from the shoot with my wee sis whom I'm dead proud of.
My Wee Sis by wee_pete, on Flickr

By no means perfect and has a few errors on my part (the loss of detail in the shadows of her hair really buggs me but detail is there in the raw file I just can't quite figure out the processing yet). On the whole I'm resonably pleased with the results.
 
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weepete

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Sounds like a very good portrait session,weepete. Good to hear you got plenty of keepers.

Cheers mate, yet to see as there is quite a bit I need to do in post, but at least I got some poses where she quite likes. Personally I'd probably cull that down to 2 or 3 so keeper rate still won't be that good. I've still made a lot of mistakes but you know live and learn plus if she doesn't like the finals we can re-process or re-shoot. I must admit I found the whole thing stressful and just so out of my comfort zone.
 

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I can see by the above sample image that overall you were able to create a good quality of light, and in the process no doubt learned some things.
 

ronlane

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By no means perfect and has a few errors on my part (the loss of detail in the shadows of her hair really buggs me but detail is there in the raw file I just can't quite figure out the processing yet). On the whole I'm resonably pleased with the results.

I like the image and would like to offer a possible suggestion to help you with the processing here for the hair. Click on the local brushes and select the dodge brush and paint on the hair some to brighten it up and help to separate it from the background.
 

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My advice is always the same. Posed studio shots are, frankly, boring. Photograph your friend doing what he does. The best portraits don't look like portraits.

This time of year I get a lot of senior shoots. I do strictly location shoots for these. But here is what I also do. When I book one of these kids for a shoot I do an interview either with them or their parents. What does the kid like to do? Do they play sports? Do they have a car? Do they have hobbies? What do they want to be?

I use this information to set up my shoot. I do the usual nicely dressed shots. Then I do the ones that are based on their likes, hobbies, hopes and dreams. One kid who rode bulls I shot in his chaps, vest and bull rope in a stockyard holding pen. A boxer I did some shots at the gym. A kid who dreams of being a chef I took to a friends restaurant and got some shots of him at the grill in a chefs hat and jacket. The kids and parents love these and they are a lot of fun to do.
 

fmw

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My advice is always the same. Posed studio shots are, frankly, boring. Photograph your friend doing what he does. The best portraits don't look like portraits.

This time of year I get a lot of senior shoots. I do strictly location shoots for these. But here is what I also do. When I book one of these kids for a shoot I do an interview either with them or their parents. What does the kid like to do? Do they play sports? Do they have a car? Do they have hobbies? What do they want to be?

I use this information to set up my shoot. I do the usual nicely dressed shots. Then I do the ones that are based on their likes, hobbies, hopes and dreams. One kid who rode bulls I shot in his chaps, vest and bull rope in a stockyard holding pen. A boxer I did some shots at the gym. A kid who dreams of being a chef I took to a friends restaurant and got some shots of him at the grill in a chefs hat and jacket. The kids and parents love these and they are a lot of fun to do.
I suspect I would like your portrait work.
 

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