It was a sunny Saturday morning here at Aperture Academy, and we were ready to start the day of portrait taking with the smallest group yet. Both Kevin and John were eager to get started and after a quick review of settings, techniques, and other nuts and bolts of portrait photography, we ventured out into the sunlight to start practicing.
We first talked about posing; the fine line between giving the model direction and making sure the model is comfortable. Comfort is a sorely underrated when it comes to portrait photography, but when really, if the model is uncomfortable, it can complete ruin the mood of an image. So we started off in a more relaxed position: having the model sit. After, we even had her lie down and do a couple fun poses. I used the opportunity to talk about positioning and lighting as well–adjusting for the background and capturing an effective back/rim light by shading the lens.
We ended up with a nice variety of images and after a quick group shot, it was off to lunch and awaiting the next group. The afternoon session went similarly as the slightly larger group of six started off in the same spot: having the model in a relaxed position. Due to the lighting being a little more harsh, we used the bench instead of the fountain–making sure to avoid uneven lighting. We then focused on framing; using the nature around as natural frames for the subject.
This group had a range of lenses and equipment so we ended with experimenting with prime lenses verses telephoto, understanding how bringing the background closer can give a more accurate effect along with magnifying bokeh in the background. We closed with capturing sun rays in a portrait for additional affect; using our aperture settings to really focus the rays of light. It was quite the day of portrait shooting: a perfectly medley of experimenting on poses, lighting, and settings.
Until next time…from Mary and the rest of the Aperture Academy Team!
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