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Archive 2012 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?
  
 
Sergio Mottola
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p.2 #1 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


those portraits are not considered good by today's standard/average 20 something


Oct 29, 2012 at 07:04 AM
Marcus Watts
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p.2 #2 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


That may change when they get a little older.


Oct 29, 2012 at 07:10 AM
mjoshi
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p.2 #3 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


DmitriM wrote:
+1. It's simple yet great. If it was from my wedding, I would've been happy


thanks guys - for your comments. Still need to find better ways to do this.



Oct 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM
cordellwillis
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p.2 #4 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


katiedis wrote:
I am going to venture a guess that WEDDINGS themselves were quite different in the 1920s. Less activities to compete with portrait time. More time to set up a studio light and take the portraits (or travel to a studio to get the portrait done). Far fewer people in attendance, far fewer family members present. Hemlines were longer (women could sit). Chairs were beautiful and plentiful.

Today's weddings are so packed with activities and transportation and timing and schedule, that very little time can be allocated to a true "portrait" session for family photos. My clients prefer that the photos are
...Show more

All of what you replied with is true. However, there is a big difference between simply lining people up and organizing them. A good setup portrait shot does not have to take much time, just learning before the day of.



Oct 29, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Ghost
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p.2 #5 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


This is an interesting thread as recently I was reading a book "the Complete Photographer" about portraits and some history behind it.

Back in the old days, the old photographic devices would take a few seconds to get a proper exposure. It may take up to 5-7 second just to capture one shot. So basically people CANNOT move for that amount of time and therefore posed statically for that long period of time. This became the norm in terms of portrait styles. This trend continue for generations because we are now ingrained that portraits are static.

The article went on to say that with the advancements in imaging, photographers have far more creative freedom for portraits. However the posed portraits have ingrained in our culture now.

It is that it is important to have good posing techniques, but don't let it limit your creativity. Since it's about people, I strive to capture the warmth of the relationships.



Oct 29, 2012 at 03:45 PM
DmitriM
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p.2 #6 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


cordellwillis wrote:
All of what you replied with is true. However, there is a big difference between simply lining people up and organizing them. A good setup portrait shot does not have to take much time, just learning before the day of.


And it doesn't. It's much easier to make excuses on why you don't want to spend no more than 30 seconds to direct and setup a group.
Properly posed photos are realistic for all clients. Furthermore, you don't need chairs. You can actually still line up a family,but connect them in a way that it looks better.
It really does only take 30 seconds or so to quickly adjust a few things and group shot would look better. It just seems we are not pushing ourselves to make that extra step because we don't care enough. And if we don't care enough about that, I have a feeling other parts of our business receive the same treatment(whether it's editing or customer service or taxes or perhaps just attention to details during the day).



Oct 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM
DmitriM
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p.2 #7 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


Sergio Mottola wrote:
those portraits are not considered good by today's standard/average 20 something


It's your job as a wedding photographer to educate your clients on what looks good for photographs. Just like you are educating them on what package to take,what album to chose and where to go to take pictures. Some years down the road those "20 something" clients will absolutely see how a nicely posed photo is so much better and emotional.
And if a photographer him/herself believes that a shoulder to shoulder typical group shot is better than a posed photo that actually shows emotions, then I have to say that I don't think that photographer should be photographing weddings at all.



Oct 29, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Prettym1k3
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p.2 #8 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


The photo you posted is classic. It's well posed. Everyone paid attention. And they probably knew they had one take at it.

Formal portraits today aren't "I want one or two photos". It's more like, "Here's my list of 40 different groupings. I want them all. And I'm only going to give you 10 minutes to do it, because I'm the bride, I will run late, I will take my sweet time, I will have unrealistic expectations, and - oh yeah - my family doesn't listen, so they'll be scattered."

If someone gave me a list of 4-5 groupings, well thought out, and gave me 20 minutes to do it, I could create perfect family formals with perfect lighting.

But on average, my family portrait list is 15-20 groupings in less than 30 minutes.

Truth be told, despite my best efforts to educate my clients, I blame them for crappy family formals.



Oct 29, 2012 at 04:55 PM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #9 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


DmitriM wrote:
Bride can be any of them....that's the thing!


How do you mean that?



Oct 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM
dhp_sf
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p.2 #10 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


I think this is a very useful post. I think that these are "boring" if it's not you or your family, but people will always value good, clean photos of themselves. I would love to get better at this, but like other say, the restriction is usually time. Although if I got faster at setting up and better able to convince clients to minimize combinations, I think it's pretty doable to incorporate.


Oct 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM
 

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jmraso
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p.2 #11 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


Ryan Britton wrote:
We do and have always done family formals, but like anything on the wedding day it is tough to get overly creative when the couple springs on you more family member combinations than will realistically fit in the time provided.


Exactly !!!



Oct 29, 2012 at 11:03 PM
jmraso
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p.2 #12 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


Prettym1k3 wrote:
Formal portraits today aren't "I want one or two photos". It's more like, "Here's my list of 40 different groupings. I want them all. And I'm only going to give you 10 minutes to do it, because I'm the bride, I will run late, I will take my sweet time, I will have unrealistic expectations, and - oh yeah - my family doesn't listen, so they'll be scattered."


Another exactly !!!



Oct 29, 2012 at 11:06 PM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #13 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


DmitriM wrote:
Here's an example of what I try to do.
http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/1063/wedding439.jpg


I like that, Dmitri! I prefer to see well-done family portraits here than those contrived shots where they stick a flash behind the bride and groom.



Oct 30, 2012 at 01:38 AM
BriMcD
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p.2 #14 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


DmitriM wrote:
I do, unless clients don't want it.
Here's an example of what I try to do.
http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/1063/wedding439.jpg

Here's an image I took yesterday at my client's place. All pictures were taken by typical local photographers.
You can see how beautiful the first photo is from 1922

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/2715/img6474a.jpg




What actions were used in the bottom set of images? Place your subjects heads into triangles. Google it, it worth a read. Look it up on you tube.



Oct 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM
DmitriM
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p.2 #15 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


BriMcD wrote:
Here's an image I took yesterday at my client's place. All pictures were taken by typical local photographers.
You can see how beautiful the first photo is from 1922

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/2715/img6474a.jpg

What actions were used in the bottom set of images? Place your subjects heads into triangles. Google it, it worth a read. Look it up on you tube.



There are no actions All the images were taken before photoshop



Oct 30, 2012 at 05:12 PM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #16 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


BriMcD wrote:
http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/2715/img6474a.jpg

What actions were used in the bottom set of images?


Hopefully you're joking with this question, right



Oct 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM
cordellwillis
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p.2 #17 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


DmitriM wrote:
There are no actions All the images were taken before photoshop


What on earth do you mean? There was photography before Photoshop? No way!!!!





Oct 30, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Mark_L
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p.2 #18 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


My parents have a wall in their house full of old b&w pictures of family from many years ago and each time I see it this jumps out at me. I went through my grandmothers (now 91) wedding pictures shot on a view camera and contact printed and got the same feeling.

Back then, having your photograph taken was a real event with cameras being rare and expensive and most people didn't own them. Now photography has been vulgarised basically and people can't understand why everything isn't point, shoot, done.



Oct 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM
teebat
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p.2 #19 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


Marcus Watts wrote:
Clients started asking for no posed images. What they meant was they did not want a line up, or a poorly posed image.

Photographers took this literally and moved toward a more pj style which seemed to fit the request.

But here is the pinch. By moving to what they thought the clients wanted they never developed the skills to pose. Now because there are always some posed group shots in most weddings these unskilled shooters do what? they do a line up thinking that by not being too controlled the shot is more unposed.

Therefore giving clients the
...Show more

Yup thats it.



Oct 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM
BriMcD
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p.2 #20 · Why did we forget how to take good portraits?


D. Diggler wrote:
Hopefully you're joking with this question, right



I'm hoping that you're joking about asking this question.



Oct 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM
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