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Portrait Photography

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  1. Portrait Photography

  2. Topics we will discuss • Lighting • Angles • Posing • Tips

  3. First, and foremost…. • As a beginner in portrait photography, you will definitely need to learn more on a trial-and-error basis. • We will cover many aspects that can help you improve your abilities, but, in the end, different things work for different people. • TRIAL-AND-ERROR!

  4. Lighting

  5. Lighting • Is absolute key to amazing portraits • You will be working with several types of light the next few days • Natural & Artificial light • Hard & Soft light • In portrait photography, you want to do your best at making the shadows disappear. (In some cases, shadows are good. Remember, TRIAL-AND-ERROR!)

  6. Recap of Lighting • Hard • Creates dark shadows • 1 light source from 1 direction • Soft • Creates light shadows, if any at all • More than 1 light source from multiple directions • Natural • Natural, Outdoor light (The Sun) • Artificial • Anything that is not natural, outdoor light (light bulbs) • High Key Lighting (New) • Bright lighting (creates a “happy” mood) • Low Key Lighting (New) • Dark lighting (creates a “dramatic” mood) • Directions of Light • Front, Back, & Side

  7. Angles

  8. Angles • We have already discussed the different types of angles… • High- “weak”“fragile”“small” • Low- “strong”“power”“large” • Slanted- “unease”“disorientation” • Eye-Level- “normal”“real-life” • Use different angles to create certain “moods” in your photos

  9. Scenario • If you are photographing a newborn baby and you want to photograph them in a “vulnerable” state, what type of angle would you use? • Low • High • Slanted • Eye-Level

  10. Scenario • If you are photographing a soldier in Iraq and you want to photograph him in a “dominant” state, what type of angle would you use? • Low • High • Slanted • Eye-Level

  11. Scenario • If you are photographing a Senior in high school and you want to photograph he/she in their “natural” everyday life, what type of angle would you use? • Low • High • Slanted • Eye-Level

  12. Scenario • If you are photographing a D.J. at a party event and you want to photograph him in an “unusual” state, what type of angle would you use? • Low • High • Slanted • Eye-Level

  13. Angles • ACTIVITY • Take quality portraits of your neighbor using the 4 different angles

  14. Posing

  15. Posing • Body language is very important and can tell you how comfortable or uncomfortable your subject is • Things we will be focusing on… • Hands & Arms • Feet & Legs • Head/Chin • Shoulders • Hips • Joints • Eyes

  16. Posing….Hands • You should bend fingers at all joints • Ladies should have more of an open hand • Gentlemen should have more of a closed hand • Try not to intertwine fingers

  17. Posing….Hands • Encourage your model to keep hands & fingers relaxed • If they can’t relax, consider composing shots that don’t include their hands • Or…you can consider giving them something to hold onto • Props MUST be relevant to the shot • Examples: Basketball, guitar, binder, etc • Or…have them rest their hands upon some other element in the shot • Examples: Chair, leg, waist, etc

  18. Posing…Arms • Elbows bent express a comfortable casualness • Arms straight give a feeling of formality and often stiffness (to be used with much caution) • These are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do things…TRIAL AND ERROR!!

  19. Posing…Feet • Feet hip width apart will give a look of strength • Feet at different angles or heights (on a step, chair, etc) will give “balance” to depth. • These are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do things…TRIAL AND ERROR!!

  20. Posing…Legs • Legs spread hip width apart while standing will give an air of strength • Generally while standing, one leg should hold the body weight; the other leg can be bent, or extended behind like a graceful dancer • Can cross one leg over the other • These are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do things…TRIAL AND ERROR!!

  21. Activity Practice with hands, arms, legs, and feet.

  22. Volunteer I need some volunteers… 2 volunteers 

  23. Posing…Shoulders • Shoulders should be on different “planes” (one slightly higher or lower than the other) • Shoulders square on will express a strong attitude • Sometimes square shoulders can create a solid picture, but use it wisely • These are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do things…TRIAL AND ERROR!!

  24. Shoulders

  25. Shoulders

  26. Volunteer I need some volunteers… 3 boys & 1 girl 

  27. Posing…Head/Chin • Head tipped back slightly will generally give an attitude of a “punk” • Head tipped back to the “high” shoulder will feel fun and flirty • Good for girls • Head down toward the “low” shoulder can express power or position (especially when shooting from a low angle) • Good for guys • These are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do things…TRIAL AND ERROR!!

  28. Head Position-Female

  29. Head Position-Male

  30. Activity Practicing with Shoulders & Head position

  31. Posing…Joints • One rule; if it bends, bend it. This goes for elbows, knees, wrists, etc.

  32. If it bends, bend it….

  33. Eyes • You can have your subject looking straight at the camera. • This pulls your viewer in automatically and creates an instant focal point

  34. Eyes • You can have your subject looking at something outside the frame • This leads your viewer to wonder what grabbing the subject’s attention

  35. Eyes • You can have your subject looking within the frame

  36. Eyes • Give your subject space to look in too… • This is a great rule to follow, but does have a time when it would be useful to break • TRIAL & ERROR!

  37. Posing • In portraits, it is very helpful to take pictures in this order… • Head shots • Shoulder & up • Waist & up • Knee & up or full body shots

  38. Head Shots

  39. Head Shots

  40. Shoulder Up

  41. Shoulder Up

  42. Waist Up

  43. Waist Up

  44. Knee Up

  45. Full Body

  46. Activity Picture order, Eyes, & Bending

  47. So what does it take… To become a great Portrait Photographer?

  48. Portrait Photography • Practice! Practice! Practice! • Match poses with “personalities” • This requires communication skills to get to know your subject • Go for what is Natural • If your subject is uncomfortable, it will show • Be Patient! TRIAL & ERROR!

  49. Portrait Tips

  50. Tips • Alter your Perspective • Try various angles!! • Play with Eye Contact • Look within the frame, out of the frame, etc • Experiment with Lighting • SHOOT CANDIDLY!!!! • No posing! In the moment!