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Portfolio Wk 3

There has been so much to consider in regards to my portfolio.  Although i am focusing on individual photos, i am also practicing group portraits.

Last week i did my first photo shoot with my model, which was exciting and daunting.  Thank goodness my model is my sister!!  During the shoot i gave my model alot of direction which seemed very foreign to my model who commented on how awkward the poses felt.  The main poses that i suggested was to sit up straight, pull her head right up and bring her chin forward.  This is a high angle shot where i used Rembrandt lighting.  This was achieved using the back light with a honeycone snoot.  This is a great angle for her, you can see the contours of her cheeks which is emphasized by the high angle and the shadow which has been cast by her nose.  Her pose gives a sense of strength with a coyness that is seen in her eyes.

f/8.0, 1/13, ISO 100
f/8.0, 1/13, ISO 100
This is my favourite photo, it captures her personality and playfulness .  My model is relaxed with me, she is framed well with the shadows which gives her face an oval shape.  The shadow which is casted under her neck works well to cover up any excess skin.  Her neck is also extended which exectuates her face even more.  There is a bit of catch light in her eyes which adds life to the subject.
f/8.0, 1/13, ISO 100

What do i like about these photos?
I like how the shadows frame her face.  I like how the light sits on her face, illuminating her eyes and softening her cheeks, forehead and jaw.  I like the shapes which are made by the light and shadows change the mood of the image.  The first photo which uses Rembrandt lighting emits a sense of mystery or playfulness.  The second photo using loop lighting captures emphases her smile especially in her eyes and the third photo has a more direct, semi intensity about it.

What worked?
Doing my homework before going into the studio.

  • I did the practise shoots, so i knew what angles worked for my model
  • I had an idea of what types of photos i wanted - Classic poses (check out photos posted of Adele, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn etc...), the lighting that i need for those photos
  • Directing my model was really good, because i knew what i wanted my model trusted me and was able to follow instructions
What didn't work?
I really need help with my photo shoot.  I assumed that the experience in the studio i had, with my ONE other photo shoot was enough.  What i didn't factor in was that i had an assistant (Cecilia) who looked after the lighting while i concentrated on nailing the shot.  Wowzers EGO hit!  The shoot that i estimated to be only an hour actually took about three or four hours because:
a) we all came in together, so they had to wait until i set up
b) while i was shooting i had to constantly stop to move around the lights
c) i had suggested to my sister to bring in the kids, so that i can photograph them when her shoot was done (wrong move!)
d) once the shoot was done, they had to wait as i packed down the studio and sweep and mop the cyclorama

What i did however to compensate was take some great shots.  Actually show her the really stunning photos i shot of her, as well as shouted them all a feed.

What next?
At the moment i will be going through the photos to see which photos i like and start envisioning how this portfolio is going to take shape.  Next i am looking to approach my next models to organise photo shoots with them.

From these photos, the classic glamour portraits that i was wanting to emulate became less and less appealling.  This was because as i was going through my photos i was recognising different characteristics or personality traits of my subject.  I really love the photo of Pela laughing.  This was a great shot because it captured a moment in the shoot where she was expressing an emotion that was not directed or staged.  I do want to retain the classic portrait element in my photos.  How i think that can be done is by shooting in black and white.  Not only will this add depth and interest but it has an authenticity to them.  I see it as relieving the eye from the distractions of colour, stripping away an element which we have been so accustomed to.  I really want the viewers to see my portraits and identify with my subjects.  I want them to share in a moment where they get to see my subjects the way i see them.


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