Archive for the 'Portraits' Category

19
Jul
11

My Barbies

OK, I have two Barbies in my studio – a blonde and a brunette.  It’s interesting to see the reactions of clients when they see them. Some will ask about them – others seem a bit concerned but can’ t quite bring themselves to ask. So why does a grown man have Barbies in his place of work?  Good question!

I use them for lighting practice. Later this week, I have a fashion shoot where I will use new gear and a new technique for wraparound  backlighting, which you can see in this picture.  It’s very helpful to practice with the Barbies so I don’t have to take as much time setting up with a live person.

Actually, if truth be told, I love my Barbies. There, I’ve said it! They’re very patient. They don’t complain if I try ten different ways of shooting them – or fifty. They seem happy with the music I choose.  They can hold a smile and their makeup never needs touching up. And the Barbies have definitely helped me to become a better photographer.

But they do need names now. Can you help me with this?

05
Jul
11

video critique of family portrait

Today, this family portrait of mine was critiqued by Craig Tanner of The Mindful Eye. Craig has been an important mentor and teacher – and friend. I’ve taken two workshops with him and hope to take more. His website is a terrific free resource of inspiration and teaching about photography.

Here’s the video:

http://www.tmelive.com/Features/TheDailyCritique/2011/July/04/TDC-0704.html

04
Jul
11

Vacation Bible School

Last week at my church, Saint Luke’s Parish in Darien, CT, we had a Vacation Bible School, with kids from our church as well as children from several surrounding communities. Some of the kids came from nearby homeless shelters. What an amazing week – 250 kids, doing crafts, singing, learning a little bit about faith, getting to know one another and just having fun.

I had the privilege of photographing each of the 14 “tribes” – the Asher tribe is shown above.  And I also shot, from a rooftop, the whole VBS community, as shown below.

23
Jun
11

our perceptions of people in pictures

Today I’m posting three more images from my recent fashion shoot with Nicole. If you missed the post from June 15th, you can see it at Beauty Lighting.  If you go back and forth between the beauty shots and these images, the look is very different – not just because Nicky’s hair is pulled back in the beauty images. The lighting makes a huge difference in how we perceive a portrait image, as do many other aspects of the picture. I believe there’s lots of subconscious stuff going on as we view photographs.  The colors, the pose and expression, the closeness to the subject and our own experiences and memory of people we’ve seen in real life, movies, etc. all impact how we respond to an image.

Here’s an experiment. Choose one of the images in this post. Spend some time looking at it. Try to imagine what the subject – Nicole – is like. What is her personality? How does her voice sound?  How old is she? What are her interests? What are her dreams? I’m guessing you can conjure up a pretty full and detailed description of Nicole in your imagination. Now look at one of the images from the June 15th post. Does your perception of Nicole from the beauty image differ from how you imagine her after looking at the first photograph? How does it differ?

Let me know how this experiment turns out for you!

22
Jun
11

ballet dancer

Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing a lovely ballet dancer and soon-to-be college freshman.  She had tons of wonderful clothes that she brought along, but we were only able to shoot a small number of outfits. We plan another shoot and will do some ballet poses then. As always your comments or questions are welcome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

15
Jun
11

beauty lighting

Faithful readers may recall some beauty shots similar to these in posts going back a few months ago. The images here are from a shoot with Nicole, a lovely aspiring model. Nicky’s facial structure is perfect for this lighting – sometimes called the Oil of Olay look. There’s a softbox behind her, with her head right up against the softbox. Over the camera, aimed down at about 45 degrees, is another light in a “beauty dish” – so-called because of the flattering look it provides. We also had a reflector just under the frame, to bounce some light back into the face. 

I often try to put hands in portraits to add some interest. Does this work here in your view?

Another image from the shoot, in black and white, without the hand. As always, your comments and questions are appreciated! Thanks to Nicole for a wonderful shoot!

15
Jun
11

three teens surprise dad for father’s day!

Can you keep a secret? If you recognize these kids, do NOT tell their dad about these pictures! These teenagers (along with their mom) decided they wanted to surprise Dad on Father’s Day with some new family photos.

So, last week, we did a shoot at their home. It happened to be miserably hot, but the kids were just great – very patient and willing to work hard to get good images.

As any of you know who try to corral teenagers, it’s difficult to find a time where they are all available. 3PM in the afternoon was that time. I would have preferred to shoot closer to dusk, to get a warmer light, but these images worked out fine. We set up in open shade to avoid the harsh sun of mid-afternoon, and then used a flash unit on a stand to bring some light into their faces.

We mostly shot out in the yard, but did a few headshots in the living room, such as the one on the right.

With the group shots, I always take a lot of pictures. With three people, the chances that one person is in the middle of a blink or doesn’t have a good expression is pretty high. So, the more pictures you take, the better the odds are that you will have enough “keepers.” I took over 300 images in this shoot. As it turned out, I didn’t need so many – the kids were smiling and looking great in almost every picture. Isn’t this a fabulous looking trio of kids?