Developing a Portrait Style
Jun11

Developing a Portrait Style

“I think all art is about control—the encounter between control and the uncontrollable.”—Richard Avedon That’s what a dedicated studio, no matter what size it may be or wherever it may be located, provides to a photographer. It’s a safe haven from the real world where, like the Outer Limits voice says, you can control the lighting, the background, and subject.Your gear doesn’t have to be expensive but with the right attitude, you can...

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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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The Challenge of Black & White
Dec16

The Challenge of Black & White

I recently completed the Facebook 5-day Black & White Challenge presented to me by Shirley R. Kleppe. My friend Mark Toal wrote a blog post about his experience with the challenge; You can read it here. It got me think that shooting black  & white is a great way to get out of a photographic rut… One of the things  I like to do to get out of a rut is to shoot  photographs in direct monochrome mode. It doesn’t have to be...

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How to Shoot Through a Pose
Aug12

How to Shoot 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 be sure to...

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Studio Tuesday: Posing on Seamless Paper
Jun03

Studio Tuesday: Posing on Seamless Paper

Posing a portrait subject against a seamless paper background is the ultimate tests of your 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 imagination. Because there’s nothing for your subject to interact with, your posing directions are going to have to be more precise than normal and you better cross your...

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Portrait Tip: Best Face Forward
May02

Portrait Tip: Best Face Forward

Faces are not symmetrical and 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 directional lighting may look...

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On Location Glamour Posing
Dec03

On Location Glamour Posing

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 with window light in the kitchen, dining room, and a loft area outside my home office. When working on location, don’t get fussy about posing subjects Watch what they does naturally and try to have them interact with the background in some way that’s physically comfortable. To show them how I want her to stand,...

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