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02-10-2020, 04:03 PM   #1
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A question about making pictures of people .

My new years resolution for photography was to learn how tomake portraits. How to use off camera lighting and styles. TraditionallyI have always been what I call a landscape photographer. I have made some astrophotographs, as well as done some macro work. The next thing I wanted to learnwas how to make portraits with off camera lights. For Christmas I received a few gift cards , andproceeded to buy some LED lights with diffusers .

I am blessed , my wife is such a truly wonderful , helpful and understanding person to myphotographic hobby as well as my goals and ambitions. I have a date set up for you to take headshots for 8 agents at work . This will give you a great opportunity to help youlearn how to take portraits with a friendly group of people

I did some research and learned about the 5 or 6 basic lighting techniques everyphotographer should know. Practiced the various set ups so I could smoothlytransition through them with my new subjects.

The big day came , and like anyone trying something new forthe first time in front a new audience I was scared. For the most part I gotthrough all 5 different lighting styles with each of them . Remembered toposition my camera in portrait style as well as landscape. I found out that using the landscape attitude of the camera washelpful as some pictures on websites require square format. When I used theportrait format in my camera their heads or chins were cut off when theyuploaded the images.

Did some very basic processing and cropping inlightroom. Emailed the jpegpictures out to everyone. All is good ! I amanxious to learn more. On to the next portrait challenge.

This is when things changed for me . I received many thanksand wonderful compliments. I was lucky they were a friendly group . Most of the emails I received back, could yousoften the focus, is there anyway you could make the picture look like it wastaken from farther away, other than the subject in the photographI liked the pictures and am thankful forthem,can you remove that red tint frommy skin, can you remove the double chin?

I asked myself, and this is where it can get deep, how doportrait photographers deal with taking pictures of people who are not happywith the way they look? Is this a commonthought among society? Why are we not happy with the way we look? Did we set astandard of how we would like to look ? or is it because we do not look like insertfamous good looking person name that we are not happy with ourphotograph?

Or does it go farther ?

Another thought I had , do I keep practicing portraitphotography and find that dramatic shadow combination, spectacular lighting,special pose, or camera angle to makethe person I am making a picture of look and feel like . Insert famous goodlooking person name.

I have a new found respect for portrait photographers.


02-10-2020, 04:17 PM   #2
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what camera do you use, full frame sensor or ASP-C sensor, and what lens

some are supposed to be better than others:

QuoteQuote:
Beginner Portrait Lens Guide
What lenses to choose, and why- with a video demo!
By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Jun 11, 2013
Beginner Portrait Lens Guide
Today, we would like to discuss what types of lenses you should look at if you're interested in portrait photography.

Those of you who are just starting out likely own the DA or DA L 18-55mm kit lens that comes with most Pentax DSLRs. The kit lens is like a swiss army knife, as it can be used for a variety of purposes, but it doesn't shine in any particular area except for versatility.

When it comes to portraiture, one can do much better than the 18-55mm. A good portrait lens should have the following characteristics:


Read more at: Beginner Portrait Lens Guide - Gear Guides | PentaxForums.com
02-10-2020, 04:26 PM   #3
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Perhaps post some examples of your portraits?Then those on the Forum with experience of portrait photography (certainly not me) could offer you some tips and advice.

Last edited by timb64; 02-10-2020 at 08:49 PM.
02-10-2020, 04:46 PM   #4
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I use a K1-II, 28-70 f2.8 , and a 50mm f1.4

02-10-2020, 08:06 PM   #5
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One of the best investments that I have made with my portrait photography was to sign up with Sue Bryce Education. They have hundreds of videos showing posing, lighting, processing, retouching and almost everything you could want to learn if you are looking to do portrait photography as a business. It's around $300 a year, and well worth the price. Comprehensive Portrait Photography Training | Sue Bryce Education

If you just want great classes on posing and such you can also checkout CreativeLive. The classes are free when live, and available to buy for reasonable prices.
02-11-2020, 12:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joe Dusel Quote
One of the best investments that I have made with my portrait photography was to sign up with Sue Bryce Education. They have hundreds of videos showing posing, lighting, processing, retouching and almost everything you could want to learn if you are looking to do portrait photography as a business. It's around $300 a year, and well worth the price. Comprehensive Portrait Photography Training | Sue Bryce Education

If you just want great classes on posing and such you can also checkout CreativeLive. The classes are free when live, and available to buy for reasonable prices.


Thank you very much !
02-11-2020, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I don't have a great deal of experience with portrait photography, but I do have some. For double chins you may be able to minimize their appearance by using a key light to eliminate shadows on the neck. Without a tell-tale shadow the chin is less likely to look 'double'. For landscape work you are probably used to using wide angle perspectives. For portrait work I suggest you'll want to avoid the 28-49mm range of your 28-70mm lens. Too short focal lengths can introduce perspective distortion which can cause a person's nose to appear large compared to the rest of their face. Better to back away from the subject and go with short telephoto focal lengths (60-70mm). Back in my film days I often used a 135mm prime for portraits outdoors. In landscape photography you want the foreground and background in focus. For portraits you may want the background somewhat out of focus to draw attention to your subject. The shallower depth-of-field of telephoto focal lengths helps with this.
02-11-2020, 03:58 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joe Dusel Quote
One of the best investments that I have made with my portrait photography was to sign up with Sue Bryce Education. They have hundreds of videos showing posing, lighting, processing, retouching and almost everything you could want to learn if you are looking to do portrait photography as a business. It's around $300 a year, and well worth the price. Comprehensive Portrait Photography Training | Sue Bryce Education

If you just want great classes on posing and such you can also checkout CreativeLive. The classes are free when live, and available to buy for reasonable prices.
I'd definitely follow up with some kind of education as you move along. Portrait photography is just one of those things that for the most part is formulaic and it really doesn't make any sense to re-invent the wheel. I still remember my portrait classes from 50 years ago like they were yesterday. Once you understand the basic concepts, you're good to go.

02-11-2020, 11:47 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pofenloch Quote
Remembered toposition my camera in portrait style as well as landscape. I found out that using [/SIZE]the landscape attitude of the camera washelpful as some pictures on websites require square format. When I used theportrait format in my camera their heads or chins were cut off when theyuploaded the images. [/FONT]
people who are not happywith the way they look? [/SIZE]Is this a commonthought among society? Why are we not happy with the way we look? Did we set astandard of how we would like to look ? or is it because we do not look like insertfamous good looking person name [SIZE=3] that we are not happy with ourphotograph?
Excellent point that shooting landscape format crops square better for portraits than vertical portrait framing. Never thought of that but it's a great tip.

a) One reason that people are not happy with photos of themselves is that they are used to and think they look like the flip image of themselves they see in the mirror everyday. The photo then shows them as they really are, as we see them, and the subject is not used to that flipped reality. It's much the same with our voices; that we are used to how we sound thru our own heads, but when it is recorded and played back, we sound differently; the way others hear us.

b) People are habituated to shooting their own selfies and having control of their self-image. They are not used to surrendering to how another thinks they look best.

c) We rarely look as we imagine ourselves. So sometimes shooting a portrait that is very different in costume, setting, lighting, etc, won't be compared to anything ordinary that may not meet expectations.

d) How much retouching? That really depends on the "client". If someone has scars or blemishes and you remove them, they may be more offended that you thought it was a flaw and that you think they look better with digital surgery. On the other hand, lighting and angles can emphasize or de-emphasize age and imperfections. With experience you'll find how vanity often increase with age and a lot of the success of your process and outcomes will have to do more with your rapport with your subjects.
02-12-2020, 12:33 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Imho the lightning and composition of portraits in big parts is about knowledge rather than creativity.
With a good source you can learn it up to a very high level.
The talent part for me is modell photographer interaction. Making the modell feel good and free while adjusting little things.
A lot of people do not, or sometimes maybe even pretent to not, like their looks. This is something where you need to try to not pressurize modells and just do your best. I also found, as postet before, some people prefer a mirrored version of the pictures. I sometimes show them and tell that to people, but usually do not flip the actual result.
On retouche: This is really personal. My own rule of thumb is that I only fix temporariliy visible things, never things that are part of the model. So I may fix a single pimple, but not a scar or the general skin appereance.
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
Imho the lightning and composition of portraits in big parts is about knowledge rather than creativity.
I could probably repeat the lesson my studio teacher taught, setting his lights one at a time explaining what each did and showing us when it was just right. Then turning everything on so we could see the result. Some things only become clear after you've practiced a few times.

Last edited by normhead; 2 Days Ago at 11:25 AM.
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