Monday, September 17, 2012

Portrait Photography Tips

To get a good picture of someone they need to be relaxed, and the best way to relax them is to plan the shoot with them.

If not shooting in a studio, it's always sensible to scout out your locations before your outdoor shoot. Once chosen, you'll need to select areas that will provide a more scenic backdrop for your subject.  Check out backgrounds with your clients, so they can feel part of the shoot.

Select clothes together based on which ones you think will work best with the backgrounds you've chosen.

When shooting portraiture in natural light, most photographers will usually shoot in the mornings or evenings that provides a flattering, warm glow on the skin. 

If shooting indoors, place your subject near a large window for soft indirect light.
Side-lighting can create mood, backlighting and silhouetting your subject to hide their features can be powerful.

When shooting in poor mid-day lighting, have the subject face away from the sun. 

Eye contact
The eyes are the windows to your soul. This holds true for portraiture, where the ideal point of focus is your subject's eyes. 

A shallow depth-of-field works best for portraits. Usually, it renders your background into a beautiful blur while keeping your subject in sharp focus. 

Don't "pose" people, they will feel more nervous! Ask them to lean against this wall, or just sit on the floor however they want or walk around them and see which angle they look best at.

The model will fell relaxed as a prop is introduced and it also creates another point of interest that can enhance your shot.  

Alter Your Perspective
Changing the angle that you shoot from can inject a little fun into your images.
You should also shoot from slightly below your subject’s eyeline.

Shoot Candidly
Photograph your subject at work, with family or doing something that they love. This will put them more at ease and you can end up getting some special shots with them reacting naturally to the situation that they are in. 

Group Potraits
In a group photo always focus on the closest person to the camera and try to get the heads uneven. The photo always seems to improve when the group is tight together. 

Obscure Part of your Subject
A variation on the idea of zooming in on one part of the body is to obscure parts of your portrait subject’s face or body. You can do this with clothing, objects, their hands or just by framing part of them out of the image.

Take a Series of Shots
Switch your camera into ‘burst’ or ‘continuous shooting’ mode and fire off more than one shot at a time.
In doing this you create a series of images that could be presented together instead of just one static image.

Introduce Movement
Portraits can be so static – add movements in your photography.

Have your model look through a window or have them lean up against a door frame and your portrait composition can look much stronger and more interesting.  Utilizing everyday scenes like arches, doorways, corridors, windows, gazebos are creative ways to frame the surroundings around your subject and the same time creates a more heightened visual interest.

De-focus the subject
Sometimes the subject is only part of a portrait. We can get this shot by focusing on the models accessories or other background things and keeping the subject blur.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wedding Photography – Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

Wedding photography is honestly so much more than simply taking the photographs, you must think about the organising, printing, albums and above all else, your own personal proficiency, efficiency and professionalism. An Indian Wedding shoot as such for a photographer is lot more challenging, it is encircled with lot of rituals and practices. The Hindu wedding ceremony continues for a couple of days and ranges with traditions as well as functions which goes from one wedding ceremony to another, which generates a need to have to get acquainted with the processes of the marriage ceremony, to ensure that you will not miss out on out on the essential rituals.
Once you get it right, wedding photography can be extremely hard work but at the same time, an awful lot of fun and very rewarding both financially and personally.

Here are several Tips to consider when planning to shoot an Indian wedding ceremony.

1.       Make a “Shot List” of the things, people, and the different ceremonies in the wedding you need to be photographed.
2.       Establish a rapport with the wedding couples and their family members.
3.       You must be prepared – scout the wedding venue and the nearby location.
4.       Your equipment must not fail you - You must have back-up cameras, fully charged batteries, enough media (film or digital), and an assistant if you can.
5.       Get a second backup photographer, one can capture the formal shots and the other can get candid shots. It also takes a little pressure off you being ‘the one’ to have to get every shot.
6.       It is important to ensure that you get the shots that you’ve been asked to capture before you start getting too inventive
7.       You get one chance at a wedding. There is no re-shoot if you mess up!
8.       The Bride and Groom are relying on you - In fact the whole family and most of the wedding party are relying on you.
9.       Plan the lightings
10.   Shoot lots of candids - moments that are unrehearsed.
11.   Shoot close ups or details
12.   Do as many of the formal group portraits beforehand.
13.   Change your perspective, get a little creative with your shots.
14.   During the couple shots, help guide the couple into poses and settings that will photograph well, but don’t over-direct them. Leave them alone for a minute to get comfortable, and then snap a few candid shots before beginning to pose them for the camera.
15.   And lastly don’t forget to have FUN… Weddings are about celebrating – they should be fun. The more fun you have as the photographer the more relaxed those you are photographing will be.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My 20 Favorite Photography Quotes

1.        “If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” – Edward Weston
2.      “There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept.” -Ansel Adams
3.       “If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.” – Linda McCartney
4.      “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams
5.      “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” – Paul Caponigro
6.      “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” -Robert Capa
7.      “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” -Ansel Adams
8.      “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
9.      “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham
10.   “For me the printing process is part of the magic of photography. It’s that magic that can be exciting, disappointing, rewarding and frustrating all in the same few moments in the darkroom.” – John Sexton
11.     Unless a picture shocks, it is nothing. - Marcel Duchamp
12.    Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase. - Percy W. Harris
13.    A good photographer must love life more than he does photography. - Joel Strasser
14.   Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like. - David Alan Harvey
15.    Photography, like alcohol, should only be allowed to those who can do without it. - Walter Sickert
16.   When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes.  But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!  ~Ted Grant
17.    A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into.  ~Ansel Adams
18.   I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.  ~Author Unknown
19.   A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.  ~Eudora Welty
20.  There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.  ~Ansel Adams
21.    My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.  ~Richard Avedon
22.  Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.  ~Tony Benn
23.   Everyone has a photographic memory, but not everyone has film.  ~Author Unknown
Your turn!
Did you see a quote that really spoke to you? Do you have a favorite photography quote that's not on this list?