Portrait Photography - Tips/Tricks?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tevo, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. photo guy

    photo guy TPF Noob!

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    You could also use the local park with the trees as a backdrop


     
  2. tevo

    tevo Recovering TPF Junkie Supporting Member

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    That's a good idea - I'll consider that when looking for a location!
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    mpex.com makes kits in their strobist section. You can put the items together yourself on B&H for cheaper and with out some of the extras.
     
  4. tevo

    tevo Recovering TPF Junkie Supporting Member

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    Will check it out, thanks!


    Oh btw the village called..
     
  5. MReid

    MReid TPF Noob!

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    If you feel you must use flash and lights.....don't try to learn on the fly at the shoot.
    Set up a lamp shade out in your back yard and learn how to use all that stuff.

    Or leave it all at home and shoot natural light....which will be your best chance for success.
    It still takes a lot of practice but at least it is can be more productive while you are learning.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why not? If you have free models that realize that you're learning, I say that's the best time to try out the lighting.
     
  7. tevo

    tevo Recovering TPF Junkie Supporting Member

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    Exactly the purpose of this endeavor.
     
  8. Rockadile

    Rockadile TPF Noob!

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    I'd like to try outdoor portraits with flash.
    What are the good and cheap equipments needed? Can I use something like the Yongnuo YN560? I don't know about the stands, receiver/transmitter, umbrella/softbox?

    (off-topic) Using flash for snowboard shots, should I have some friends hold speedlights?
     
  9. tevo

    tevo Recovering TPF Junkie Supporting Member

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    Amazon.com: StudioHut 4 channel Wireless Radio Hot Shoe Flash Trigger Kit for Canon EOS, Nikon, Olympus & Pentax Flashes with 2 Receivers: Camera & Photo

    You would get something like this, that would allow you to trigger 2 flashes that are mounted elsewhere (not on your camera); most likely mounted on stands with umbrellas on them, that would bounce/soften the light. Google up the difference between softbox/umbrella lighting - the difference lies in the shadows cast by the light. As for which flash you use, as long as the quality is decent I dont see any problem there. Umbrella Lighting Kits are all over amazon for a couple hundred dollars, sometimes cheaper (whatever fits your budget).
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Is that link a joke? That is some sad LifeTouch ish. In my humble opinion most of it is really impractical unless you're shooting school portraits or something with identical posing and three point lighting in every shot.
     
  11. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Here are some of my basic ground rules, in relative order of importance:

    Prep
    1. Study your setting carefully.
    2. You can't fix bad hair, clothes, or makeup in post. You can only accentuate what's good to begin with.

    Posing
    1. The less experienced your subject is at modeling, the more comfortable they need to be while shooting. That means no exaggerated or tricky posing.
    2. Never do anything that makes part of a model's body appear bigger than it is in real life. Especially if you are shooting at a shallower DOF, try to get most of the model's body equidistant from the lens. Otherwise, step back and shoot with a longer focal-length lens; compressing the DOF helps avoid the problem.
    3. As a corollary to the above, don't shoot your subject dead-on unless he or she is very thin. Same goes for shooting them facing mostly sideways.
    4. With your model's permission, it's OK to pause and physically move them. Inexperienced models can have a hard time understanding how to act on how you're telling them to position themselves. Likewise, photographers who are inexperienced at telling models how to position themselves can be bad at communicating what they want. It can be easiest just to step in and move your subject.

    Perspective
    1. No funny angles. Ever.
    2. Avoid shooting from high above or below unless you know what you're doing.

    Lighting
    1. Don't mix light temperatures.
    2. Make sure there's enough light on the hair. Hair is arguably the hardest thing to touch up in post, and it's immensely more difficult if you don't give yourself enough to work with.
    3. If you are using multiple lights, you have to think in ratios. No ifs, ands, or buts.
     
  12. Kerbouchard

    Kerbouchard TPF Noob!

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    No, it's not a joke, and thousands of people have found it helpful. As far as your humble opinion, I happen to believe it is incorrect. Many of those 'rules' are invaluable, and while one doesn't have to sit there and follow every one of them or print out a checklist, I believe the reasons for the rules should be understood by all portrait photographers.
     

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