Entries in Kiki (15)
Getting in close to your subject is one way to immediately add more impact to the photograph. Once you think you have gotten in as close as you should, try going in even closer. This is especially true for portraits, as seen above in the portrait of Kiki seemingly in deep thought. The framing only reveals her right eye and some of her head leaving all else a mystery to the viewer.
It helps to use a macro lens to make this kind of shot. Another good way is to use a long focal length (200mm+).
The get close, and then get closer composition style also works for group portraits, not just single subject portraits. In the above example showing the groom and groomsmen head to toe is a fine shot, but the viewer feels distant from the subject. Zooming in and composing a much tighter shot reveals each person's individual character more and makes for a much more personal experience for the viewer.
Try getting much closer than you normally do in composing your shots and let me know in the comments below what the results were.
After making a headshot for a client in my home photography studio, while I had all the lights setup, I tried to coerce Kiki into letting me make a photograph of her. She is very, very reluctant to do so for some reason being very resistant to the whole idea. So this time I put her favorite chair in frotn of a white background (though later digitally edited for a pure white background) and had her curl up into it in her usual manner. She spends a lot of time lying down like this staring out the sliding glass door beside my work desk.
She was actually facing into the living room and not out the window, her distant look is just her trying to avoid looking at me and into the lens!
How can you make a unique photograph? How can you push the bounds of what a photograph can be? A single exposure, a single shot, that can create a great pet photograph no doubt. However, it is limiting in just how unique a shot can be. I am always thinking of ways to make unique and interesting pet photography shots, and photographs in general. In the above composite photograph of me and my beloved puppy Kiki, I took a shot I made of Kiki over a year ago and combined it with a self-portrait I just made this afternoon. Below is how I did it:
I already had the shot of Kiki edited onto a white background. The original photo was mostly white in the background, but I still used the Quick Select Tool in Photoshop to cut Kiki out of it and then paint in a digital background. I have that photo printed out and on a shelf in my bedroom so I see it every day. It popped into my head recently to put myself into that image to make it appear that Kiki was about to swallow me. There was not enough space under her upper jaw for me to really be seen, so instead I used a flipped self-portrait in a perspective showing me to be actually smaller than Kiki, adding to the uniqueness and strangeness of the final composite image.
Kiki was born on February 19, 2009. It is hard to believe that it is already 2013 and Kiki is now 4-years old! On the day she was adopted, as you can see, she almost fit in just one of my hands. Now she is full grown and hard for me to pick up even with two arms! No matter how old she gets, I am sure I will think of her as my beloved puppy and call her a puppy, as I still do to this day. I never feel prouder about anything I have ever done in my life than when someone complements how well behaved, how friendly or how sweet Kiki is.
As she has gotten older, though, Kiki has become totally camera shy!
I am always looking to improve the range and quality of photography products I can offer to clients. In the pursuit of this I invested in a collapsible photography background (view on bhphotovideo.com) that measures 5'x7' is neutral to dark gray and folds up like a car sunshade into a circle when not in use. Such a background allows one to setup a small studio space virtually anywhere, including your own living room.
The collapsible background does not require any special holder or stand. I simply took a canvas print off the wall and rested the background up against it. It took a little fiddling and flipping it over to get it to stay in the space I wanted it too, but all-in-all a pretty easy setup. The background is easily big enough for two people, and maybe three or more depending on how they are posed.
If you like to make portraits and do not have the space to maintain a dedicated photo studio in your home, then my photography tip is to invest in a collapsible background that can be used in any room in the house and easily taken over to the homes of friends and family too.