A great photographer once advised me to work with as few light control devices as possible. I try to do that because the less time spent working with my gear, the more time I can spend putting my subject at ease.
If you give me a doorway I’ll use it as a prop. Doorways give subjects something to do with their hands as well as—I think anyway—provide a natural frame around the subject adding interest to the portrait. Image wascaptured with a Canon EOS 50D with my favorite EF 85mm f/1.8 lens and an exposure of 1/250 sec. at f/5.6 and ISO 200.
I often shoot a sequence of images—and you should too—not just one and hope for the best. Each pose in a sequence is slightly different while I refine the pose a little each time, rather than making radical changes. Unless nothing works and then I just start all over again.
Mary’s version: She was standing in front of that same doorway, which is 180 degree from where I made my shot (top) to get a completely different portrait of the same model at that same location but from a different direction. The matching scarf that the model somewhat hides in my portrait becomes major prop for Mary who made this image with an Olympus mirrorless camera with an exposure of 1/160 second at f/5.6 and ISO 200.
My book “Studio Lighting Anywhere” features a cover photograph by Mary and is available from your favorite book or camera stores as well as Amazon.com, where your purchase helps this blog.