Entries in strobist (113)
There are not many chances to get a portrait made with me and Kiki. When I try self-portraits, Kiki looks like she is being tortured. Otherwise, I have to resort to composite photo gimmicks. So I was glad that photo student Stacy was able to make one of Kiki and I using the same lighting setup I had just used to photograph her daughters in her house for their Christmas Card photo. Kiki still looks a bit tortured, but at least she is looking at the camera this time!
I came to make headshots for Katie in St. Petersburg Florida because she works with a past photo lesson student, Bill. He has been working out of state, but is back in St. Pete and asked me to come in to photograph his colleague. It is always nice to see past clients and catch up.
Katie was a natural in front of the camera so for me it was just a matter of squeezing my lights into her office so they did not cast shadows on the background walls. Bill had some of his own headshots made out of state which showed him in more of a 3/4 view in a working environment, so he asked me to make similar images of Katie instead of the typical neck high only business headshot. That was fine with me I am always glad to be able to create something a little different than usual.
This was my second time (see first shoot) making a promotional photograph of a new homeowner for Crown Group Realty. I really like these kinds of shoots going out on location and only needing to produce one or two images. Rhonda and her baby daughter were great and the shooting part took less time than it did for me to setup my speedlights!
I intended to make the above shot only, but after seeing how active her daughter wanted to be I took some shots like the first one with her walking on her own. I ended up delivering both to the client as a bonus. I hope they enjoy their new home!
Long time DSLR photography student Stacy invited me to her home to photograph her daughters for their family Christmas card. She said I could bring Kiki along as well (more about this below). This was an unusual shoot as Stacy worked with me to learn how to make portraits and I used much of her own photography gear (note the use of a Nikon D4 for all these shots!). I had shown her my wedding couple wrapped in Christmas lights shot before, which we did with the three sisters for the above image.
When editing this black & white image I wanted mainly the lights of the tree to be visible in the background framing the girls.
Using the new 2x teleconverter Stacy recently got, I took advantage of an effective 400mm focal length to create extreme bokeh in the background of the above shot of the same Christmas tree lights used in the B&W shot.
A more formal shot before the lit fireplace, which made things pretty hot for the girls, but throughout our shoot they were great and knew how to get into proper positions unprompted! It was like working with professional models!
Now when I try to photograph Kiki she is never happy about it and ends up looking like a sad puppy (see here). However, she was all too willing to get into every photo with the girls and smile! For the piano shot we let a sleeping dog lie and framed the portrait around her. She just wanted to participate and be involved!
It was a fun shoot and a chance for me to try a few new things shooting inside someone's home, as I most often shoot outside on location. I look forward to seeing the photos in print on Stacy's family Christmas card!
Making sunset portraits is a photography skill unto itself. When shooting on a beach at sunset the conditions are rarely the same. Thus, not only do you have the usual variables to deal with when shooting on location, and not only is there a ticking clock with the sun getting closer and closer to the horizon, there is also the unknown of how the sun will effect your shot according to its strength.
If you find the setting sun is overpowering your portrait, then a good photography tip to use is to block most or all of the brightest part of the sun with the subject. This will reduce lens flare too.
Of course unless you want the subjects to be silhouettes, you will need a speedlight or two off camera to light them up. The sun is then used as a backlight source complementing your portrait instead of dominating it if the subjects were not blocking any of the strong light coming from the setting sun.