End of a Portrait Thread?
Mar07

End of a Portrait Thread?

“The poet, the artist, the sleuth – whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial… he cannot go along with currents and trends.”—Alfred North Whitehead I guess we can add photographer to Mr. Whitehead’s comment. Today is the last day on a two-week run of portrait-oriented posts so I thought I would end it with an one of my favorite images of my former muse*, Ms. Tia Stoneman. A portrait of Tia is...

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Seamless Paper & Alternative Backdrops
Feb28

Seamless Paper & Alternative Backdrops

February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 306 days remaining until the end of the year (307 in leap years). Making a portrait a subject against a solid color backdrop, like seamless paper, is the ultimate tests of one’s ability to make something from nothing; you’re shooting without a net—naked, even if your subject is wearing clothes. All that stands between you and a good portrait is your...

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Following Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’
Feb21

Following Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’

“The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a standpoint. It’s important to know what you stand for, no? Most people just take pictures, but they stand for nothing.”—Peter Lindbergh Last year, at the suggestion of one of this blog’s readers (thanks Izzy) we added a new section to the right-hand column called “Top Posts” with the idea that if a person was new to the blog, they would see the most popular five...

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Working with and Posing Glamour Models
Feb06

Working with and Posing Glamour Models

When I was a young photographer I asked my mentor, what was the worst thing I could do during a photo shoot. My guess was that it would be some kind of technical glitch but to my surprise he said, “not talking to the people.” If you don’t talk to the models that you’re photographing you are never, ever going to make good images. If you’ve participated in a group model shoot, you know what I mean. Shooters use their longest focal...

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Portrait Posing: Shooting Through a Pose
Dec19

Portrait Posing: Shooting Through a Pose

As Douglas Adams says at the beginning of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “This never happens…”: A subject meets photographer in the studio who tells them “stand over there,” clicks the shutter and the resultant pose is perfect. Actually that’s not entirely true. Sometimes it does happen except for that pesky “perfect” part. If you can get it in one shot, it’s the photographic equivalent of a golfer’s hole in one, so if that...

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Putting Your Best Face Forward
Sep16

Putting Your Best Face Forward

People’s faces are not symmetrical and most of us really do have a “good” and “bad” side that photographs better or worse than the other side. Experienced models know this and will only give you what they think is their best side but they can be wrong. That’s why it’s a good idea to shoot a few test shots and determine which side of their face looks best. Keep in mind any pose is lighting dependent, so what looks great under...

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When’s the Last Time You Had Your Portrait Made?
Sep06

When’s the Last Time You Had Your Portrait Made?

I recently added new portraits of myself to the Bio pages of my Blog and main website. Both portraits were made by my friend Cliff Lawson and were not made during an “official” portrait session. They were shot while we were testing lighting (website portrait) or when Cliff was showing me his new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens (blog portrait, also show below.) Tech details for both photographs are at the bottom of this post. I...

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