“An artists vision creates the image; the camera simply captures it.” This is the opening line of the book and also the most important. Before you even pick up the camera you must have an idea of what you want to create as the camera doesn’t do the work for you, you have to do that yourself.
Lara’s description of lenses opened up a whole new world to portraiture for me. I usually tend to use my Nikon 70-200 mm telephoto zoom lens for portraiture, but Lara suggested that instead a wide angle lens can introduce a dynamic angle of view and distort an image excitingly. She also recommends using a macro lens for extreme close –up beauty work which is something Id like to try.
Photographing with movement
Photographing your subject mid-movement creates a dynamic shot and adds interest to the image. Lens baby creates creative lenses.A fast shutter speed freezes motion, and a slow shutter speed blurs movement. Manual focus works better for fashion shots as it allows you to focus on an eye or a strand of hair.
To prepare to decide beforehand what you want out of the shoot and create mood boards or Pinterest boards before every shoot. Look on websites to find models and If you can’t afford a stylist choose or source the clothes yourself. Have a plan for whether you want a location shoot or a studio shoot. Decide which will work best.
Location shoots are better for new models or clients, and studio shoots are better for experienced models. High key lighting creates a comfortable dynamic to an image, and low key lighting adds a dramatic mood to an image. The best time to shoot in natural light is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset referred to as the golden hour by landscapers. The light during these hours is soft and diffused, the angle low, and the colour warm. Don’t be afraid to experiment with over and under exposure to natural light. Use one softbox to provide soft and flattering light to your subject. Use a white reflector to highlight your subject and a black reflector on the right side of your subject to add contrast and for more variation use a black backdrop. Experiment with different coloured lights. Use a silver umbrella with a white backdrop for clear, detailed high key images. To enhance makeup use a beauty dish as your light source. Backlight create beautifully And visually dramatic photos. Add a second light for a simple backlit portrait. Use a softbox to flatter the subject and a second light behind to illuminate them. Try using natural light in the studio and enhancing it with reflectors. Use two white reflectors on either side to bounce the light back and a gold reflector to add warmth to the shot.
Setting yourself assignments is also vital as it helps you to find your style. Then Lara Jade sets us tasks to be open to our interpretation which I will discuss at a later stage as I’m going to give them a go. I’ve made several assignments personal to me; I’m planning a childhood memories project which I am accepting ideas of things to recreate. My crystal ball project is continuously ongoing and also the subject of my latest blog. I also like to showcase my hobbies in my work, and I’m planning a few special projects using models. The working photographer You need to be able to work closely with people, stick to a brief and create your own. Charge what you believe is a fair price for your time but never lose your integrity.
To make your images pop this is something that is typically done after a shoot. I used to use photoshop files with many layers so I can always go back and adjust. Now I have changed my editing process using Lightroom to batch edit and then using photoshop to fine-tune whichever images I feel need more work. Lara states that she applies layer masks to create composites which is something I haven’t tried but id like to give a go. You can use curves to change the tone of an image by using it on the RGB channel. Use a hard healing brush to correct skin blemishes or use the spot healing brush or a clone stamp tool. Use textures to add a vintage film feel to your image. In Photoshop You can turn an image into black and white by creating a channel mixer adjustment layer by going to layer>new adjustment layer>channel mixer. Click the monochrome box. Move the RGB sliders. Then form a selective colour adjustment layer and select neutrals and move blacks slider to +30. For more contrast then select blacks and mover the slider to +10 or +20.
Think about who your intended market is. Use push marketing to showcase your photography to potential clients, art buyers and directors. Also, pull marketing uses social media and word of mouth to create your brand. Think about your brand and how it appears to clients. Prepare both a physical and an online portfolio.
I hope you enjoyed this post and you stay tuned for more of what I’ve been reading and shoots I’ve done recently.