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Archive 2012 · Portrait Technique
  
 
saywhuut
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p.1 #1 · Portrait Technique


Hello, Iíve been a hobbyist for a while now and basically I want to try to venture into weddings/portrait work to start earning some extra income. When outside taking family pictures of my kids on a nice sunny day, Iíve noticed to really get some nice pictures regarding light position, I personally am really struggling. Iím getting fine results for memories, etc but the thought in the back of my mind came up how do you experienced photogs deal with harsh light, or shade and not enough light when doing serious wedding/portrait work? Iíve been pursuing nature/landscape a bit and am so used to wanting the sun behind my back, but I notice that is not always the best for portrait work due to the people having to squint, etc.

SO my long-winded question is, how do you all get such awesome pictures when trying to find shade for people to be comfortable to take pictures in while outside, and just general suggestions for outdoor portrait/wedding work for someone who is thinking about giving it a go? Also, what about sun positioning for outdoor portrait work? How do you combat the sun behind your back, but not having the subjects squinting, etc?



Aug 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM
bbourizk
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p.1 #2 · Portrait Technique


Practice practice and practice some more
See what works for you and what doesn't
Use the sun to backlight your subject
Use off camera flash to light your subject
Don't shoot in harsh light
Shoot later in the day or early
find a tree to shoot under a bridge somewhere there's shade



Aug 02, 2012 at 12:43 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #3 · Portrait Technique


Gee, I hardly know where to begin. If you are asking very basic questions like this, you're not anywhere close to being in a position to do wedding/portrait work for money.

I think you're vastly underrating the knowledge and skills of those who are good professional photographers. The fundamental requirement is to know and understand light. You need to know what light is flattering and how to control it. There are many techniques. Some select conditions and time of day and just use natural light with reflectors. Others augment the light with flash used in conjunction with modifiers.

Go to the wedding forum and read the stickies. Buy a copy of "Science, Light and Magic". Practice for a year or so making thousands of images.

Be aware there's much more to it than learning the rudimentary technical aspects. I know of photographers who have been shooting for 30+ years who are horrible. They are photographically tone deaf. I've seen other photographers who took up photography and in less than a year they were producing outstanding work. There's this thing called talent.



Aug 02, 2012 at 01:07 PM
ESC in KC
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p.1 #4 · Portrait Technique


^^ Good response. Saved me a lot of typing.


Aug 02, 2012 at 02:05 PM
saywhuut
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p.1 #5 · Portrait Technique


Thank you all for your help


Aug 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM
saywhuut
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p.1 #6 · Portrait Technique


dmacmillan wrote:
Gee, I hardly know where to begin. If you are asking very basic questions like this, you're not anywhere close to being in a position to do wedding/portrait work for money.

I think you're vastly underrating the knowledge and skills of those who are good professional photographers. The fundamental requirement is to know and understand light. You need to know what light is flattering and how to control it. There are many techniques. Some select conditions and time of day and just use natural light with reflectors. Others augment the light with flash used in conjunction with modifiers.

Go to
...Show more

I didn't intend to give impression that I'll be trying to do a wedding for hire tomorrow. It is my long term goal. Thank you very much for this helpful information to get me on the right path.



Aug 02, 2012 at 02:32 PM
 



dmacmillan
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p.1 #7 · Portrait Technique


saywhuut wrote:
I didn't intend to give impression that I'll be trying to do a wedding for hire tomorrow. It is my long term goal. Thank you very much for this helpful information to get me on the right path.

Gotcha.

I'm just an old fart, so forgive my ramblings, but I suggest you stop and think about turning your hobby, something you love, into a money making enterprise, no matter how modest. There are costs.

I've taught photography off and on over the last 30 years in the continuing education department of two different universities. I tell my students they have the luxury of photographing what they want, when they want to. That's a precious luxury that should be guarded. Once you do photography for hire, you're under the beck and call of others. This is especially true of wedding photography, which is a huge time suck.

I understand the lure of shooting for money, especially when friends and family praise your work. That's what led me to believe obtaining a degree and spending near 25 years shooting professionally (including wedding photography when I was 16!). The funny thing is that I got out of the business partly because I missed photography! I never had time for my own work, if a camera was in my hand, it should be making money.

I went back to school and changed careers in the mid '80's. When I did, I promised myself to only shoot what I wanted. I haven't taken a paying job since. I also avoid doing any photography as favors for friends and family.

Finally, if you do pursue it, be aware of the costs. I've seen a number of enthusiasts buy equipment just for the money making part of photography that they don't use otherwise. They usually don't charge enough and certainly aren't aware of the true costs (transportation, depreciation, etc.). If they sat down and figured it up, they could make more profit baby sitting.



Aug 02, 2012 at 03:09 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #8 · Portrait Technique


Practice is huge. But I think you will gain some good knowledge by enrolling yourself in a good photography class. Not one of those "When in doubt use P Mode" instructors.


Aug 02, 2012 at 06:08 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #9 · Portrait Technique


M Lucca wrote:
Practice is huge. But I think you will gain some good knowledge by enrolling yourself in a good photography class. Not one of those "When in doubt use P Mode" instructors.

I didn't know you were one of my students! ;-)



Aug 02, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Red 90
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p.1 #10 · Portrait Technique


Study and Practice... only after you have shot several thousands of pictures will you get the confidence that you can make things happen and get the pictures you want.

You can educate yourself technically on the equipment and lighting, but it all comes down to testing the situation. Go out and shoot on a sunny day at noon and see what happens. Figure out how to make the images work. Shoot with the sun behind the person, play with off camera flashes and reflectors.

You'll eventually get a feeling for what will work and what won't as well as the compromises of shooting in different situations. You will also be able to recognize places and scenes that will work. Your eye will eventually start looking at the scene in terms of color, perspective, and framing.

Be aware that a hobby and career in photography are two completely different things. You may like to take pictures but you may not necessarily enjoy it as work and business.



Aug 02, 2012 at 06:37 PM
derry1
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p.1 #11 · Portrait Technique


there is a ton of material on the net to assist,,

here is a decent location to start with,,

http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-photograph

Derry



Aug 03, 2012 at 08:29 PM
jefferies1
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p.1 #12 · Portrait Technique


The words wedding and how do I do this brings massive red flaggs. Not sure why new photographers want to take a chance with the most important and costly day in a girls life. At least most family or high school shots can be done over so you have lower risk. Anyway with that said take the camera off auto and learn the controls.Ok to leave the lens on suto focus but the camera body in full manual. Outside is simple because it is what you see is what you get. Open your eyes and read the light. Then adjust the camera to capture what you see. See a hot spot on the side of a face. Then move the person because you can't move the sun. In shade are the eyes dark, then add light with fill flash or reflector. Again it is all what you can see when using a reflector so just watch carefully. With the camera on manual and flash if you are using one also on manual you will then see a relation to the shutter speed and ISO etc and the look of the photo. If any are set in auto then you will never know what is being adjusted by the camera.


Aug 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM





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