Three cheers for professionals! PART II

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by christian_stahl, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. I'm in constant need of press photos, and short of money: you guessed it, I'm a musician (http://web.mac.com/stahlchristian/Videos/Barsanti.html).
    I posted a question in July 2008 in the Nikon Lenses and Optics-Forum, concerning portraits. Hoped for an answer as "get this lens, and you're set".
    In variations I got three answers: light - composition - practice.
    As part of a new marketing strategy, I want to communicate an image, using picture, among other things.
    So I've started to experiment with portraits, as shown here: http://gallery.me.com/stahlchristian#100203&view=mosaic&sel=0 (please note that these pictures are not yet processed, they ought to be lighter after that).
    There are light issues.
    What would you recommend? I thought about a helper with an emergency blanket stretched over a hula hoop, reflecting the sun so the other part of the face is lit.
    And composition... I don't have a photo studio. So I used nature as a background. There are also some historical buildings near (see http://gallery.me.com/stahlchristian#100228&view=grid&sel=0).
    Please tell me if I should rather use the Beginner Photography Questions-forum. Glad 'bout any advice, Chris
     
  2. The question is: how are the images to be used?
    Brochure, CD cover, flier, poster - internet or what. The need dictates the design.
    You need intimacy with your viewer and as most press release -web images are small a close-up with partial instrument would seem appropriate.
    I would definitely incorporate some of the locations - just interesting pieces of architectural details only as mood creators, preferably out of focus backgrounds to add elegance.
    Shoot in the shade, and use a piece of foam core covered with crumpled tin foil (flattened) to accent the lighting.
    Your best bet would be a trip to the book store to locate one of the dozens of portrait how-to's that will explain the techniques you need to use. Review them and find the one that exemplifies the look you're after.
    Your image is everything, treat it with care and be very discriminant.
     
  3. You can get 5 in 1 reflectors that are about the size of a hula for for something like $30. They work great and you can do quite a bit with just one.
    I'm in Dresden from time to time, if you want to meet up for some pics let me know.
     
  4. The question is: how are the images to be used?
    Brochure, CD cover, flier, poster - internet​
    Gary, my answer is: yes. Yes, brochure AND CD cover AND flier AND poster AND internet. 'tis true, I usually have one or the other in mind when I take the picture - but when it turns out well, I end up using it for all of the above. (I admit, a vinyl record cover is something special...)
    Do you make a CD Cover different from a press portrait? How?
    Your best bet would be a trip to the book store to locate one of the dozens of portrait how-to's​
    Good idea (I remember, I used to love the photo section in book stores when I lived in New Haven, CT, in '89. Always envied you guys for your bookshops, haven't seen anything comparable in Germany, esp. when it comes to photography. Anyways, I'll have a look...
    You can get 5 in 1 reflectors​
    Good one, thanks!
     
  5. "Do you make a CD Cover different from a press portrait? How?"
    Every effective photo is designed for the media that it occupies. We can shoot with different formats in mind, which helps, but emotional and physical issues become important.
    Just look at the average PR release and you'll see a small image - tight close-up and little else. Sufficient for the purpose. Not a motivator (usually) more of an informational piece.
    Covers, brochures, web images can and should be more compelling - create curiosity, motivate to purchase or buy tickets. Your shots are nice "snapshots" but fail in this regard (not being critical).
    Take a trip to the music store - look at the competition - look at the use of format and shape, then previsualize your product, poster or web image. Notice how close-ups are used a great deal - long shots are great for groups and established recognizable performers.
    The classical nature of your music should also be emphasized and your movement and body language during a performance could also add visual appeal.
    I hope this helps a little.
    g
     

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