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+1 @ I took their eyes too high & too far off axis ... yield less engaging. I was concerned at staring into the camera, but took them too far away. Also, while I would have preferred more space and a longer lens ... these were shot from only 5 feet away as I was literally space constrained to that distance.
I wanted a higher camera position, but was maxed out on tripod height ... I thought about bringing in a stool, but chose to go with them standing. Value @ stool learned. Another individual is even taller and it came out even worse, coupled with him leaning back even more.
+1 @ woman's wrinkles ... she had many more than is evident here (courtesy of feeble PP skills for subject matter). Funny, I never even gave a thought to "side lighting" vs. "flat lighting" as a strategy to contend with it. I've typically been oriented toward bringing out texture ... never gave much thought @ hiding texture in reverse.
You mention "static" pose vs "dynamic" pose ... could you expand / clarify?
Also, contending with "short thick" neck better posing technique?
I've a long history of saying that a good portrait photographer is a far different thing than taking pictures of people, and that a good portrait photographer is good with people.
Having worked with these folks and seen the results ... it seems to fall into the realm of when I mention how sometimes we have to help the viewer a bit more than we might otherwise think. The need for giving good direction is quite obvious to me (since I was there). You would "think" that telling a person to "lean forward" or "chin down" would be an easy thing. Yet, despite my efforts to do so, you see the results ... i.e. you have to give better direction than you might otherwise think necessary.
I think it is pretty clear from the pics you can tell who was feeling ... "if I must" vs. "I want one". Again, I've historically pointed out the value of a good portrait photographer's ability to connect with the subject to get them to relax ... as it shows in the pics. Personally, I've been pretty good at getting static objects like railroad tracks & mountains to "relax" while I take their picture ... people, not so much. Of course, THAT would explain why I've knowingly avoided portraiture up to this point.
Flashback ... I did some work with models way back when (1980's) ... but that is WAY different from working with "regular" people. Good models know what they are doing, and are trained to understand the communication and direction from the photographer. Regular people are not ... thus the communication with regular people is more challenging than one might otherwise think.
Also, models are better able to "turn on" their mood and show the camera better "engaging" or "emotive" response. With regular people, it would seem more critical for a good portrait photographer to be able to "bring it out" of them.
I've long since felt that good portrait photographers were highly under-rated & under appreciated. In today's realm of techno-magic, photo wizardry ... people are still people and that hasn't ever changed, and never will. Sure, it's easy to take a pic of an enthusiastic child or an effervescent teenager ... but try a tired, worn down, regular Joe, working stiff and things change just a "wee" bit @ how easy it is.
Props to good portrait photographers. It is way more challenging than they make it look ... but I already knew that ... so much to learn.
Edited on Aug 09, 2012 at 01:38 PM · View previous versions