What is a Portrait?
Jan15

What is a Portrait?

“every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.”― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray Recently I was talking with a photographer/friend from the East Coast and he showed me some of his latest portraits. And I was surprised...

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Using a Pre-Shoot Portrait  Checklist
Jan08

Using a Pre-Shoot Portrait Checklist

The most important aspect of making portraits is communicating with the subject. It starts with initial contact and then moves onto communication during the session but to make the best possible image, you need to start before a subject arrives. Here’s a few simple tips that will make your subjects look better which in turn translates into better portraits and happier clients. Feel free to copy and even improve these suggestions—and...

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Shooting Portraits on Seamless Paper
Dec10

Shooting Portraits on Seamless Paper

“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”— Diane Arbus I haven’t had an Oreo in a long time but anybody who’s ever made a portrait know what the late Ms. Arbus was talking about. Photographing a subject against a seamless paper background 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...

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Boudoir Photography Posing Tips
Oct09

Boudoir Photography Posing Tips

Nowadays, I have an in-home studio but in the not-so-distant past, I made all of my portraits on location in my home working mostly with window light in my dining room, where this shot was made, and a loft area outside my home office. When shooting boudoir photographs on location, don’t get fussy about posing: Watch what she does naturally and have them interact with the background in some way that’s physically comfortable. To show...

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Seamless Paper Posing
Sep29

Seamless Paper Posing

“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”— Diane Arbus I haven’t had an Oreo in a long time but anybody who’s ever made a portrait know what the late Ms. Arbus was talking about. Photographing a portrait subject against a seamless paper background 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...

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Question: What Is a Portrait, After All
Sep04

Question: What Is a Portrait, After All

Answer: “A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows [that] he is being photographed.”—Richard Avedon The above quote shows that the late Richard Avedon was not only was a genius behind a camera but was unusually perceptive about his photographs and what they represented. The truth is that a portrait seldom represents reality. Instead it’s a snapshot of a point in time and though retouching and posing presents an...

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A Few Portrait Posing Guidelines
Mar06

A Few Portrait Posing Guidelines

Once upon a time, I attended a workshop on portrait posing and it went something like this: The well-respected speaker was known for his classic portraiture and demonstrated how to pose a subject. It was basically pose A, then pose B, then Pose C. After a few minutes he asked me to show the group how to pose the model we had been working with and I didn’t remember a darn thing. It was too much detail for my brain to handle, so I won’t...

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