Entries in Portrait (18)
So many photographic magazine articles, blog posts, web images, FB posts and even weddings I see these days contain NO close up pictures where we can see lit eyes as well as details in the dress detail. So many have one or the other; in other words, good details in the dress but dark eyes or vice versa. I'm not getting into the reasons why in this article, I think you all know why a client would like to have both. ;-) It's not that hard and I have made many blog posts on how to do it with varying techniques, but I wanted to bring it to "light" again because I feel it's so important.
I think a client deserves to see their eyes AND details in the dress. Eyes are the mirror of the soul, some say. The longer I have photographed the more I have realized that most of the expression comes through the eyes. PLEASE be professional and make sure clients also get to see the sparkle in the eyes, not just cool kissing photos off in the distance. I have choosen to pick 7 closer pictures from the same bridal where you see the eyes and still have details in the dress. No raccoon eyes. ;-) I also added some thoughts/info under each one.
Happy shooting and a very Merry Christmas! Sorry if I sound irritaded but I just feel bad for the clients, often spending thousands on a dress, make up, etc. just to not get the important details recorded well.
Back light always works well with brides wearing a veil, especially if they have dark hair, often on blonde brides we need to put a diffusior between the sun and bride.
Try to use the flowers as a tool, create a waist line if needed, do not hide all the beautiful details on the top of a dress.
I like the flowers to be part of a portrait sometimes. They can, of course, often compete with the bride for attention but in this case I put them against a warm background to not be so powerful like they are against the dress. Also placed them to the back and side to still give a feel of the dress design.
Just loved the warm reflections in the office building. It helps to have the veil frame her face, so her skintone doesn't go into the background too much. This and the above pictures are also a good example of how I might go from 3/4 to close up on the same set up, just moving the flowers.
Just boring asphalt is one of my favorites backgrounds for bridal portraits.
I like the white building as a back ground; in this case to neautralize the dress and get more attention to the face. We also used one tungsten spot to backlight and one on her face. This gives a warmer light and different color temperature which also helps set her face apart from the rest of the picture. Happy Holidays!
Years ago a photographer friend of mine told me a true sales example of how he perceived the value of a picture. He was at a client's home doing a sale's appontment and they reacted to his price of $85 for an 8x10. This was around 1990 and we were still shooting film. Looking over at the client's book shelf he saw an old, beautiful 8 x 10" black and white photograph of a couple. He went over to the bookshelf to have a closer look at it and said: I love this picture, it is so beautiful. I would love to buy it from you, what about $200? The wife answered: It's my grandparents and the only copy we have, so there is no way I will sell it; it means a lot to me. My friend said what about $300? She answered it is worth more than money to me. Then he said: And you think it is to expensive to pay $85 for the one of your own family?
I hope this post can put some thoughts in your mind on the value of what we do and what we should charge; we are creating so many priceless treasures for people. Let's treat our work as what it truly is, wrap it in silk paper, hold it up carefully by the edges when we show it to our clients and be respectful of the truth worth of beautiful images.
The picture above is of my parents, taken on their wedding day February 23rd, 1952 in Asker outside Oslo, Norway. It was during the 1952 Oslo Winter Olymipcs. The picture was taken by Harald Ohnstad, who was the very first photographer I worked for (in 1972). Oh, how I wish I had a signed original print of this image.
PS. May 17 2013
Since I wrote this post back in Dec 2011 this picture has increased even more in value to me. My Dad died a few weeks ago, so I treasure it more then ever. Hope my work do and will do the same as this do to me.
R.I.P Jens Linge, Respectfully your son Kenneth
The owner of the company One on One Marketing, Nick Greer, really wanted employees involved in the photo shoot. I still wanted the attention to be on 1 person on the cover. I decided to have a bunch of employees play basketball in the background and use a long exposure. I had to make sure Nick didn't move and that the people in the back ALL moved. It took a few attempts to nail it just the way I wanted, but I think it went well. The magazine got him on the cover, he got lots of employes in the shot :-) The basketball court is on the top floor of their building.
Equipment: Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III with a 50mm 1.4 @ f4.0. 1/12 sec. ISO 100 on a Manfrotto tripod. Main light Elinchrom strobe with a white reflective umbrella + a California Sun Bounce reflector with it's white side as a fill on his rigth side.
Here is a short video clip the editor Briana Stewart shot during one of our attempts.
In this shot we let Nick Greer blend with the crowd and show some if his great staff.
It was used as a 2-page spread to open the article. We knew this when we shot it and made sure nobody would end up in the crease, etc. Existing light + 1 LED 900 lamp to add more light to the room and especially to the people. Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds M III with a Canon 20-35mm f 2.8 L lens @ 5.0. 1/85sec. ISO 800.
I loved photographing (no, I did not SHOOT him:-) Nick in his office with great window light. We added a LED 160 lamp to get the light more around his face and give us freedom to have him not have to turn towards the window light as much. Lately I have been using daylight LED lamps and use a warm filter if necessary. I can dim them without color change which is one thing I love. I made sure to have peace around Nick's head and added the water bottle to get the company logo in the shot. LED is such an amazing light source to have added to our choices of light. Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III with a 50mm f1.4 at 2.8 and 1/60 sec. ISO 800.
PS. I know you would love more overviews from these shots, but it was such a fast pace job with so many people involved I didn't feel I could justify using their time on it. Maybe I will have to start bringing an extra person just to do overviews...Let me think about that one.
Today I want to bring you through a magazine cover shoot and some inside photographs for an article we shot on Monday, April 11th. We had about 30 minutes to shoot: the cover with logo, bar code, etc. in mind, one picture for the editors letter, a table of contents shot, and an opening shot for the story inside (full page or spread). I also shot two individual shots that were used to go with their BIO's in the story.
Things to keep in mind: it's for the May/June issue of Utah Valley Magazine, so they want it to look summery and the mountains were full of snow as you can see in one of the overviews. We wanted green grass, with a little piece of baseball markings showing and the stadium providing the atmosphere and the BYU team colors. The time for the shoot was set to 12:30 pm with sunshine, and due to baseball practice, we had to follow their time schedule.
I said it before and I'll say it again: I love to photograph in midday sun! Remember that NOON (or the sun at its highest peak) is almost never 12 pm. That day it was at 1:28 pm in Provo, Utah, USA where the shoot took place. The appointment to shoot this cover was at 12:30 pm, (as I said, not my choice) but that is when it's useful to know something about light. I was early, like I always like to be, so I could set up and be ready to shoot at the time of the appointment.
This table of contents picture was shot before the scheduled shooting time of 12:30 while we are testing light for the cover.
We started by doing the cover shot (see underneath) using a California Sunbounce Sun-Swatter on a solid Manfrotto 007bu tripod to diffuse the bright sun hitting them. The tripod is sand bagged and also features a "lazy leg" adjustment for leveling the stand on uneven terrain. I also picked a shaded area mostly as a background, the magazine wanted the shot to show some grass and stadium. In the overview underneath you can see the California Sunbounce Mini Zebra and how we bounce with a in on them. A very simple and very effective method for midday sun.
The two spreads underneath are also shot about 30 min from midday which is perfect down in the dugout. There is so much light bouncing in to the dugout since the sun is so close to it. In some of the shots we added a little soft/gold called Zebra in the CSB language. (Sun-Bounce to give the directional light a little more punch and add a little warmth on the subject so they would pop out even more from the blue background (which is a complimentary color to their skin and a color that creates distance).
Underneath you can see the full size file as shot. I composed this shot for a 2-page spread to start the story inside the magazine, the crease in the middle of the magazine is what I always have to keep in mind when I do that.
When I first had them sitting there, I also made sure to get some pictures of them individually. It was fun to see how much more comfortable they were sitting in the dugout than standing out on the field posing, they were in their right element. We could easily have used this for cover, but the magazine wanted some summer and the local stadium look. In the overview underneath, see how close the dugout is to being in the sun which gives it a nice tunnel effect of light with the roof making a perfect block overhead. I'm so in the zone when I shoot and I try to respect my clients time, so the overview is shot right after the we shots used. That was a wrap for the shoot, total time shooting with subjects on hand 30 min. I have a lot of respect of people's busy life and schedules and find it very important to be ready on time, and use no more time than necessary.
Vernon Sanders Law (born March 12, 1930 in Meridian, Idaho) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He played 16 seasons (1950-1951and 1954-1967) for the Pittsburgh Pirates. World Series Champion with The Pirates in 1960. Law was a member of the National League All Star Team in 1960. He won the Cy Young Award, and led the National League in complete games that year.
Vance Aaron Law (born October 1, 1956 in Boise, Idaho) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1980 through 1991, he played for thePittsburgh Pirates (1980–81), Chicago White Sox (1982–84), Montreal Expos (1985–87), Chicago Cubs (1988–89), and Oakland Athletics (1991). He was an All-Star (NL) in: 1988. He also played one season in Japan for the Chunichi Dragons in 1990. Law batted and threw right-handed. He is the son of Cy Young Award winner Vern Law. He is currently the head baseball coachat Brigham Young University