I learn photography myself when i was in college ( btw 12 and 15 years old ) it has always been hard to me to read technical books or to watch technical videos about photography and even filmmaking. Learning English those past 3/4 years helped me a lot enhance my technical knowledge – Now I learn a lot from books and videos in english. And I love it. But still; I am very visual, i see something that I like and can reproduce It // just like that // I think i would never have learned photography if not for the visual aspect.
Camera don’t take pictures of people, people do.
You will be the first creator of your images before the camera will do it for you.
Even in automatic mode ..
I want to focus and tell you today about portrait photography in outdoor conditions. And when I think of it I think about the idea of the shooting, what you would like to express through your images, but also i think about a moment appart with someone who will be your model. It’s a moment of sharing, of trust. It has to be constructive for both parts. The equipment play a important role in terms of image quality ( pixels, control of light, angle … ) but the image have also to bring sincerity, control of the subject and the background.
You can’t achieve this by treating your model like a object or by not creating an enough good relation with him. But i will come back to this point later.
I am to talk to you about feelings and instinctive experiences. I would like to share sincerely the way I live photography.
Personatly i started with my Nikon D7000 until now, i knew while buying my first camera that i wanted a fix lense (without zoom), 35 mm 1.8 was a great start. Now I play with a 20mm 1.4 and its a georgous wide angle. I know a lot of « better » cameras and all kind of equipments now. However I love my camera, i want to work as much as I can with it and to learn all the limits It can have. I’ve been in so many different situations of shooting in outdoor only with this camera. I mostly only shoot outside. Love the outdoor context. It gets the best of my creativity out!
You are a beginner in Photography ?
An actual Photographer?
Or just someone who wish to improve the quality of his photographs ??
Those following tips are for you;
The FIRST TIP is an obvious one!! – EYES -. .
▶The eyes are a very important part of our identity. It connects us with our more internal and sensive self. In a Portrait the eyes should be the most attractive part of the image. Calling for emotion and vulnerability. .
The eyes will catch the attention of the viewer first! When best executed the photographer catch a glimpse of authenticity and something more is speaking throughout the look of the model – the Soul. .
▶Make sure to always Focus on the CLOSEST EYE especially if your model is in a 3/4 position from the camera!!. .
▶BONUS TIP : To successfully catch the most natural and meaningful look of your model, ask him not to look at the camera for a while. Guide him and invite him to evolve in the space you are taking the photographs. Keep him moving, slowly, breathing and then ask him quickly to look at the lens of your camera but not more than 2/3 seconds. Then – he can look around again and you can ask him to come back to the camera, on and on… it’s a DANCE! The thing is not to let your model fix the lens more than few seconds. After that the look lose of its deepness and the door to the soul is closed. .
– APERTURE -. .
▶What is it ? : In Photography, the Aperture is the unit of measurement that defines the size of the opening in the lens that can be adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the film or digital sensor. .
▶The more you open – the more little the number will be ( From 4 to 1.8/1.6/1.4.. -> you get the biggest Aperture from the Fix Lenses ). .
▶The most high your Aperture goes – the more tight become your focus area – the more blurry your background will be!!. .
▶The fix lenses with very high Aperture as 1.4 gonna SOFT the skin more and CLEAN some imperfections in the same time. .
▶The subject is in front and become the most important thing on the image. Attracting the eyes on it first. It detached the subject from the rest of the image and create more depth in your image. It create a different texture and add layers to your composition. There are no obvious rules – You have to play with it! :). .
– SUN LIGHT -. .
The portraits in the full midi sun are really hard to get. .
▶ Except if it’s intentional – this moment of the day is not the best moment to make portrait pictures. .
▶ It create hard shadows on the face from straight up, on the eyes, under the noze and under the chin. .
▶ If you still want or have to shoot at this time of the day you would need to use a reflector in a way to soft the hard contrast created by the straight light. .
▶ And watch out on your whites because it’s very easy to burn them. .
▶For Natural Light portraiture the Golden Hours are the best!! Sunset and Sunrise. Placing the light behind or on the side of the model for a contre jour and having the
warm light reflect in the hair. You can also hide the light behind the model creating an « ora » around him.
▶ The day light is really not easy to deal with – especially in the winter with the snow. So we have to get EARLY out of bed but without regret because the results are stunning!!. .
– FRAMING -. .
▶ The role of any rule of composition is to draw the eye into a photograph! Framing refers to using elements of a scene to create a frame within your frame. For example, you might shoot through a doorway, pulled back curtains, branches, fences, tunnels, or arches to highlight your subject. .
▶You can also choose to full the frame with the model, in a way to don’t let empty negativ space around or on a side. .
▶I think that the framing is something so visual that each of us will see it differently and play with it differently!. .
▶ The close framing or more distent ones can be both amazing. Just play and feel free! – For the close framing ( close to your model) a nice thing that works often is to cut a bit of the forehead. It’s also very used in cinema. .
▶ Be original in the angle, try try try up down sides close far, try to ad layers to your image by coming close to plants for exemple – Use your environnement and bring some props to play. .
– The TRIGGER -. .
Living in a Generation where everything as to go faster than yesterday – far from the limiting Analogue techniques – We have to Learn to be more Thoughtful when we press the triger of our camera.
▶ While shooting in natural light you have to move, to danse with the situation because absolutly everything is moving around you at the same time. .
▶ I could say that nowdays the tendancy is to stay pushing on the trigger. You leave with 25 images per poses, almost completly identical and you asked or let your model to stay fix in a position instead of let him constantly move. We are far from the analogue photography times when you had 36 images on the film and so had to be creative and conscious of the photo you make. .
▶ Fixing the model in a pose can look safer maybe but spontaneity is better in portrait photography. Also because movement and natural looking bring more authenticity and power in your images. So trust yourself and let the best moments come without planing everything. Don’t loose time on one pose if you can have 5 or 6 poses at the end which equal to more choices for a stronger and more efficient selection. .
▶ Not that it will make you a much better photographer but it will make you more aware, present, creative and visualy precise!!. .
– SPEAK! -. .
“CAMERA DON’T TAKE PICTURES, BUT PEOPLE DO”. .
In my opinion the most important thing about portrait photography is not something technical. The most important thing is to create a good ambiance of work. .
▶ By creation a relation of confidence and trust with your model. .
▶ By COMMUNICATING with your model. .
▶ Staying quiet like a stone not explaning what you are doing and not showing anything is intimidating and stressful, especially if your model is not a proffessional one and need your guidance and kind words. .
▶ The more natural and successful poses are made with a relax mood. .
▶ Let a intimity space ; don’t touch your model, don’t start to close of the model, give you and the model the time to enter in the flow of the shooting. .
▶ Explaning all the time what you have in mind!. .
▶ There is no hurry. .
▶ It is Promordial to encourage him and congrats him very often. Being a model is not something so easy to do. .
▶ Your eyes and your camera pointing on him is stressful. I really insist on this point. A good ambiance means an amazing moment with your model. It’s intence and both part must learn something about it. .