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11-23-2021, 01:24 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Why are so many portrait photographers doing this??

I've decided to learn a good bit more about portrait photography, of which I know virtually nothing. I've gone to the source of all knowledge-----YouTube. I've noticed that a good many "portrait photographers hold and shoot their cameras, both DSLR and Mirrorless, like a person holding a smart phone, out in front of their body. Surely they can't be as stable shooting this way as the traditional way of supporting the camera and lens composing through the viewfinder. What am I missing here?

11-23-2021, 01:45 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larrymc Quote
I've noticed that a good many "portrait photographers hold and shoot their cameras, both DSLR and Mirrorless, like a person holding a smart phone, out in front of their body. Surely they can't be as stable shooting this way as the traditional way of supporting the camera and lens composing through the viewfinder. What am I missing here?
Maybe they prefer CDAF of LV over PDAF of the viewfinder?
Although why bother, they loose whatever accuracy advantage they might have in focus by introducing camera shake.
Some camera models also have a touchscreen and you can set your AF points over the leading eye after composing the shot.
11-23-2021, 02:06 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Seems bizarre - I could see maybe if they're used to shooting with live view on a tripod? That's the only time I really use live view... not that I shoot much in the way of portraits. It's definitely not as stable, and if you have a fast lens on a bigger body, with a flash on too, you're really going to want that weight up close rather than at arms length...

The LV accuracy in focus may be an argument when using DSLRs, but shouldn't apply with a mirrorless camera - as that's using LV all the time.

Or maybe they're just hip video photography tutorial recorders who don't know much about the principles of photography
11-23-2021, 02:08 PM - 5 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larrymc Quote
I've decided to learn a good bit more about portrait photography, of which I know virtually nothing. I've gone to the source of all knowledge-----YouTube. I've noticed that a good many "portrait photographers hold and shoot their cameras, both DSLR and Mirrorless, like a person holding a smart phone, out in front of their body. Surely they can't be as stable shooting this way as the traditional way of supporting the camera and lens composing through the viewfinder. What am I missing here?
I've highlighted the answer for you.

11-23-2021, 03:06 PM - 8 Likes   #5
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The good reasons:
* it's easier to quickly change perspective and foreground-background composition by acting like a boom crane

The bad reasons:
* EVFs of mirrorless cameras really do suck -- no pro wants to stare into an EVF for hours
* these supposed YouTube experts trained on smartphones and don't know any other way to operate a camera
* bad habits persist because telling someone they are "doing it wrong" isn't allowed anymore
11-23-2021, 03:17 PM - 4 Likes   #6
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I shoot portraits a lot. I DO NOT shoot like the folks on YouTube. I use the viewfinder. If I need to use live view my camera is on a tripod.
11-23-2021, 03:21 PM   #7
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I've also found it interesting that it seems a rule for youtubers to shoot by lcd. I was wondering if it was due to being filmed. That somehow seeing the screen on camera would make it more engaging or something. It could also be that many go for many different and quite extreme angles and they just don't switch back to the viewfinder when doing "normal" type shots.

In the dpreview videos you'll see Chris shooting mostly by lcd as well. I mean I do it with my GR but not with my K-1

11-23-2021, 03:49 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
I've highlighted the answer for you.
Yep...the last couple of "how to like a pro" videos I checked out were ludicrous.


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11-23-2021, 03:49 PM   #9
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Hard to say.


Perhaps with today's effective image stabilization, the traditional method of stabilizing the camera -- holding the viewfinder to the eye and elbows tucked in, etc -- is not as critical. I'm guessing cuz I'm not a portrait guy.


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11-23-2021, 03:49 PM   #10
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Best recipe for camera shake. They are having a cellphone burn. If it was about video it would make more sense. But shooting stills with extended hand holding a kilogram (or more, if a good lens is in) of equipment does not sound like a great way of doing portraiture.
11-23-2021, 03:51 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sarge Quote
I shoot portraits a lot. I DO NOT shoot like the folks on YouTube. I use the viewfinder. If I need to use live view my camera is on a tripod.
I don't do much portraits, but the same rule applies for my work. Live view is never done hand-held.


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11-23-2021, 03:52 PM - 4 Likes   #12
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I do it from time to time because I'm using the Face Detect autofocus.

I even have a hooded loupe for sunny days.

But you've got a K-3 III, Larry, so you get to enjoy that through the OVF!

Garage lighting (that is the photography instructor's garage back there, with a Mustang parked in it), with the K-1 and DA*55:


Last edited by clackers; 6 Days Ago at 07:31 PM.
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I do it from time to time with my K-1 because I'm using the Face Detect autofocus.

I even have a hooded loupe for sunny days.

But you've got a K-3 III, Larry, so you get to enjoy that through the OVF!
Nice portrait; well posed.
6 Days Ago   #14
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Is it simply that they want to be able to use the touch screen to choose their focus point?
6 Days Ago   #15
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the answers, I'm still puzzled. One guy from SLR Lounge who is a Canon shooter was shooting through the viewfinder back around 2013-2016 and now was shooting smart phone style???? Looks might unstable to me, but what do I know.....LOL.
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