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10-20-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Need to take a couple portraits, advise needed

This is a "my hobby gets me in trouble" thread.

My company needs a couple portraits for 3 of my new colleagues and they don't have time to do them right. So, the boss says, "let's ask Ralph."

The good news is that the portraits will be converted to B&W and shrunk to fit at the top of the individuals’ bios.

Can't be that hard to get a decent file to fill these modest final product requirements.

What I have, K10d.... 77mm FA LTD..... AF 360fgz flash.... Flashpoint 42" 5 in 1 reflector.

My thought is to set up in an office with a plane white wall, have the person sit 3 or 4 feet from the wall next to a window, flash off shoe to an angle opposite the window, reflector from below to eliminate shadows under the chin and eyes.

I am a total amateur, and will do some homework over the weekend before the "event" next week. Any advise or corrections to my initial thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

10-20-2010, 10:35 AM   #2
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To me, it looks like you've got it figured out pretty well. The 77 is a great portrait lens. the 360 will do a great job of fill light. Just be sure to angle your subjects body slightly and do several shots with them looking at the camera and away from them camera. If it's truly a business shot, probably right into the camera. Another thing to do to minimize the shadows is have your subjects arch their backs slightly so that their necks will be stretched. This will help with shadows and miminize any double chins.

Hope that helped.
10-20-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thank you very much. I will be mindful of asking they keep good posture and "lift their heads high" to make their necks tall. That is important.
10-20-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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If you are going to sit them down you will probably need a posing table at the correct height. Otherwise standing is probably better. Most portrait photographers I know would tell the person to "lean slightly forward" rather than "lift your head high" (sitting or standing). If you take a full body shot the forward lean does not work but for anything above the waist it is generally the preferred method for dealing with necks and chins. Go try it in the mirror and see how it works for you. Another helpful trick is to have them look slightly above the lens of the camera to help open their eyes. When I have my pocket wizard plus II on my camera I tell them to look at the top of the antenna. Otherwise I might put my fist on my own head and tell them to look at my hand.

There's just a ton to learn about good portraiture - but in this case the best thing to do would be to look online for a good "posing guide" ( I bet there's a lot of youtube videos on it). Find something that will work for you and just run it through like a formula.

10-21-2010, 03:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments cwood. Very helpful. I will spend my weekend reading and learning before start shooting.
10-21-2010, 04:38 AM   #6
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Test out your setup beforehand with a mock portrait shoot, keeping the setting you use in mind for the real shoot. Consider the same pose for each subject for consistency and uniformity when posted on the wall.

All the best for your preparations

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