Thinking about Portaiture

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by Ricochetrider, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. This is going to be fun Brother. Take notes !!

    See you this weekend !!
  2. Personally, I am as much into the end result as I am into relationships between photographer and subject (for the time being). For now, it’s the iphone.

  3. I suspect a lot of us are as into the photo as the various possible relationships. I sense the reason many have talked about the relationship of photographer and subject is that’s what the OP asked about ... “Did it ever feel weird or awkward to approach people.”

    That being said, your photos stand out as often personal and intimate as well as being well crafted, so I think your emphasis on the finished product pays off.

    Also, speaking for myself, the relationship of photographer and subject and care for the photo itself aren’t mutually exclusive. I find working with those relationships, in all the forms and varieties they can take, is both something in itself and a means to an end, which is the photo. That relationship is often what drives and helps determine the finished product.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
    Ludmilla and Ricochetrider like this.
  4. I hope in my comment I haven’t dismissed the inter-relationship because in a portrait it’s always there even if it’s only eye contact
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  5. Not at all, you've contributed something of value to the discussion. I'd say the "end product" is what we all look to, whatever the photographic subject or endeavor.
    Ludmilla likes this.
  6. Any course you take by successful photographers can not be that bad. One usually learns something from everyone. One thing is for sure you will need to master both connection with client and technical lighting skills if you plan on being successful. You can not have or do one without the other.
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  7. Not a bit! As Brother Ricochet says, you've contributed something very valuable, and I think it wasn't so much your comment as the beautifully relaxed and comfortable subject in your lovely photo. An example to be proud of!
  8. Thanks Ken
  9. SCL


    Thinking about all the useful comments above (including my sample shots), and the broader context of today's world of Iphone, where almost everybody who owns one shoots everything and everybody, including themselves, it seems engaging a subject, other than in a formal setting, isn't that hard, as people are used to it. My thought is that one should have a thorough understanding of the technical issues of shooting - exposure, composition and lighting, and know their equipment like the back of their hand so that they are not fiddling with gear, but rather engaging their subject to bring out the look they want to achieve. Having periodically been a subject of a variety of amateur "street" or "documentary" shooters over the years, who had the stones to ask me to pose for them, I can tell you, that it it much easier to to do so with a photographer who is knowledgable and has self confidence than one who is fumbling around and can't engage me in conversation while shooting.
  10. Your examples could’ve been shot by a fidgety teenager with an iphone
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  11. For most of the time I've had a camera I've only taken photos with people in them and have never really sure when I could call something a portrait. That said, when I started, and sometimes still, I carried my camera everywhere. Eventually the people I was with got used to it and to me taking pictures, and there was no challenge on that front, and I still use this strategy a lot, even though I've mostly moved to more formal portraiture. In this type of hit-and-run work, you can afford to shoot a lot and your victims have no expectations. This makes it a lot easier to relax because people don't expect to see results except when something is special. It was a long time I felt that I could control a situation well enough to ask people to sit for me, and I was very nervous about that until I could predictably get something good a high percentage of the time. I've never tried the carry-it-everywhere situation with my 500C/M, though.

    One thing that has been very important to me all along was to look at the work of other photographers who were doing things I wished I'd done, imagining how those pictures had come to be. HCB's wide range of portraiture was a huge influence to me at the start. It was only much later that I learned that most of the informal portraits he took of famous people were contract work for books and magazines, not personal. I still spend a lot of time looking at fashion photography when I'm in the doctor's office, get lighting and posing ideas.

    As others have said, the equipment has to be transparent--set it once and forget it from there on. I have always made it a practice to set exposure and some approximate likely focus range as soon as I walked into a room so that I didn't need to fuss if an opportunity came up, and I don't ever use a meter, so I can do this with minimal fuss.

    Tap my avatar on the left to flickr links of some of my work....
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019

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