Tag Archives: portrait photography
I’ve posted a little about this before but here we are again. Most of my photography takes place on location, in the great outdoors, weather permitting, or in various locations such as churches, hotels, clients premises etc. A few times a year I get together with a small number of other photographers in a studio together with a model to freshen up our thinking and learn from each other. It’s a bit of fun for a few hours although there are limitations as well. Making sure you don’t get lazy and copy what the last photographer did is always on my mind and there are small issues with too many people in a studio, all keen to shoot.
Out of this last session I was determined to come away with something clean, modern and minimalist. I’m not a great fan of props generally and when I met the model my idea was to produce something that suited her look. The result is below, what I have styled a city smart look. Do you agree? Did it work?
Sometimes it’s good to just try new things with new people away from a commercial need. Last Saturday I and a few like minded photographers booked some studio time to refresh standard working methods. Some ideas worked and inevitably some didn’t.
Below are just a few photographs from the session that I liked. What do you think?
Now that winter seems to be here I retreated into the studio for another model portfolio shoot last weekend. The photographs below are some of my favourites simply because of the eyes. Pardon the pun but they really do have a look.
Working in a studio is not something I normally do when photographing people. Of course in my commercial photography I use lighting in a controlled environment but when I’m photographing people I prefer to work on location. Somehow a studio defines the style of photography whereas I prefer the subject’s reaction to the location to be a more open and intuitive process. Maybe this comes from my love of landscape photography or from my work in wedding photography where you are always reacting to the situation, the light and the people.
Not owning my own studio I am always looking at suitable venues for when the need arises and recently I came across a small studio in Belfast available for hire at reasonable rates. The best way of assessing the suitability of a studio is not to wander around it but to use. For that purpose I got in touch with a local model just to do a test shoot.
I didn’t want the traditional model look and I was trying to assess the variety of lighting and backgrounds to create a look so I aimed for a more direct, harder edge approach. I must say the studio was excellent with window light, white and grey/black backgrounds and excellent lighting equipment. I quite like the variety I got in one hour with contrejour, soft and hard shadow effects. To suit this I wanted a certain direct look from my subject and I got it. And of course a big thank you to Isa – the patient model for the day.
What do you think?
I just recently put together a new website – yep the one you’re on now. Deciding what photographs to feature was very difficult. The previous site had accumulated lots of galleries and lots of photographs in those galleries as well as stand alone images on each page. When I took a very critical look at it it was a mess.
To clean it up would have meant a major redesign and as I’m definitely not a designer the very thought made me want to run and hide. The idea of going back into Expression Web and spending days of effort with no guarantee that it would be any better made me realise that there were other options. So I have gone down this route. The only think I will say and others agree – it is a little stark and without my personality (some would say that’s no bad thing), but I will need to refine it as time goes on. Mm more learning and the spectre of design coming to the fore again.
The point of all this is that now the new design is up and running I did not want to clutter it up and so decided to start off with only a small selection of images and let it grow slowly. This is where a major benefit of digital photography comes in. If this had been in the old days of film I doubt if I would have had the heart to go through thousands of negatives and slides. Diving into my hard drive is so much easier and even a bit of fun.
Finally to the point. I came across this black and white image I had taken a while ago when I attended a fantastic training course with the excellent Brett Harkness in Manchester. It is used in my portraits gallery elsewhere on this site but thought it deserved a place on its own. In the last couple of weeks I have been doing more commercial work so getting some people featured on the blog may redress the balance a little.
Any comments on the photograph or indeed on the website or on my ramblings above would be appreciated.