Advice for The Aspiring Portrait PHOTOGRAPHER ?· in covering the classic lighting styles and poses…

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<ul><li><p>Ed Verosky</p><p>Portrait PHOTOGRAPHER</p><p>Advice for The Aspiring</p></li><li><p>Advice For The Aspiring Portrait Photographer. Copyright 2015 Edward Verosky. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission, in writing from the author/publisher. </p><p>Learn more about Photography at edverosky.com </p><p>https://edverosky.com</p></li><li><p>Contents</p><p>The Art &amp; Craft of Portraiture ............................................................... 4Classic Lighting and Posing ........................................................................................4Contemporary Portraiture ............................................................................................6It Used To Be Harder To Get In ...................................................................................6Now Its Harder To Stay In ...........................................................................................7Everybodys Doing It ....................................................................................................7</p><p>Your Portfolio ......................................................................................... 9Your Body of Work is Your Story..................................................................................9Your Portfolio is Your Showcase .................................................................................9Portfolio Presentation ................................................................................................10</p><p>Portfolio Building ................................................................................ 12Start An Art Project ....................................................................................................12Experiment Whenever Possible ................................................................................13</p><p>Finding Models .................................................................................... 14Trading Services ........................................................................................................14Where To Look For Subjects .....................................................................................15What to look for in a potential subject .......................................................................16Model Releases .........................................................................................................18</p><p>Working With Models .......................................................................... 19Inspire Your Subject...................................................................................................19Make It Personal........................................................................................................20The Basic Portrait Setup............................................................................................21Set Limits for Better Results ......................................................................................22</p><p>Post-Processing .................................................................................. 25Capture The Most Information ...................................................................................25The Basics .................................................................................................................25</p><p>Developing Your Style ......................................................................... 27Mastering Your Tools &amp; Techniques ...........................................................................27Simplify and Standardize Your Process.....................................................................28Think Like An Artist ....................................................................................................28Free Yourself .............................................................................................................29Your Vision, Your Style ..............................................................................................31</p></li><li><p>4</p><p>The Art &amp; Craft of Portraiture</p><p>We look at each other. Thats what human beings do. In each others faces and forms we find cues, read emotion, feel attraction or unease, and ultimately recognize ourselves. The portrait makes it possible to look at someone as they appeared at the time and place, and under the conditions the image was made. We, as viewers of the portrait, mentally process it in a way that tells us that we are looking at another person, not just a two-dimensional print or projection. Any portrait can give us that sense, however a well-made portrait can create a much stronger sense of connection.</p><p>The craft of portraiture has evolved over time and skill sets have necessarily changed as new technologies and mediums emerge. What was once the province of those who could acquire and handle the complicated hardware, technical, and chemical processes, is now accessible by virtually everyone. The general public is now able to take good pictures with little effort or expense, and there is a wealth of instruction on producing skilled portraiture, available in books and on the internet, to anyone interested.</p><p>This is a book focused on the topic of portraiture artistry but here, were referring to portraiture as craft, too. Not all photography results in art, and it doesnt have to. There is a time and place for basic, skilled, conventional portraiture as well as innovative portraiture that was once an artistic instance but evolved into a template for craft. Theres also a time and place to break away from it.</p><p>Here, Ill talk about how the fundamentals of portraiture lighting establish a basis for all portraiture. Ill also discuss how contemporary portrait photographers approach their craft and offer reasons why going beyond the basics of conventional portraiture may be a necessary jump. The message is simple: You should know the basics so you can transcend them. You should be capable of being skillfully unique.</p><p>Classic Lighting and PosingClassic lighting patterns, together with traditional posing, are two elements of photography that define certain long established conventions for portraiture. Here, were less concerned with covering traditional shots, such as one might expect to see in a wedding or family album, and more interested in covering the classic lighting styles and poses that can be applied generally to any subject.</p><p>Photographic portraiture has been a viable means of capturing the likeness of a person since the 1840s. By that time, the processes used to chemically fix a permanent image projected through a lens and onto some material had already been discovered. The skillful application of this chemical and mechanical technology made it possible for anyone with the right materials and technical background to make a career out of portraiture.</p></li><li><p>5</p><p>A photographer could setup a studio, or work as a traveling practitioner, and service a market that ordinarily wouldnt be able to afford traditional painted portraiture. Photography made it possible for more people than ever to have realistic portraits of themselves and their loved ones. It was a new way of seeing, remembering, and sharing human connections that really changed the way people experienced life. From then on, it would be hard to imagine a world without photographs of the people you love and the times you shared.</p><p>Still, the work of oil-and-canvas artists served as the original archetype of portraiture. Even today, we still refer to one type of lighting pattern as Rembrandt, based on a style of lighting used by a Dutch painter working some two-hundred years before the proliferation of photography.</p><p>Early on, photographers had little else than paintings and realistic drawings to model their portraits after. Similarly, their clients had expectations for photographic portraiture that were largely based on paintings they had seen. But eventually, photography would build its own reference points and establish its own conventions of lighting and posing. The development and use of these conventions would be largely dependent on the availability of natural and artificial light, and the capabilities of the cameras themselves. As technologies improved, photographers experimented and refined their methods, and the most useful portraiture techniques survived the test of time.</p><p>Contemporary styles of portraiture are sure to change from time to time, but the basics never really go completely out of style. Human faces and figures, and the general criteria we measure beauty by, remain amazingly consistent from generation to generation.</p><p>The way we prefer to see light and shadow fall across another human face must also be somehow hard-wired into us. So, it stands to reason that certain traditional lighting patterns, first discovered and distilled by other visual artists, were not invented arbitrarily, but identified over time as the most appealing and eventually made their way into the standard methodology. The basic five lighting patterns you should learn are generally considered the most instructive and useful. These are:</p><p> Short Lighting</p><p> Broad Lighting</p><p> Butterfly (Hollywood/Paramount) Lighting</p><p> Split Lighting</p><p> Rembrandt Lighting</p><p>Take a look at Ed Veroskys Guide to Flash Photography for in-depth instruction on lighting and the five portrait lighting patterns. </p><p>Of course, lighting isnt the only tool used in creating a portrait. Posing is the other key component. After the first years of requiring sitters to remain completely still -- sometimes supported by posing braces -- eventual improvements in exposure speed would free both photographer and subject from the stiffness and uncomfortable expressions seen in photographs. Poses are still tied directly to lighting patterns as you cant have shadows fall correctly under a stationary light, if the subject moves </p></li><li><p>6</p><p>out of position. Camera position also plays a role. For example, a broad light pattern from one camera angle can essentially be a split light from another.</p><p>Although traditional lighting and posing are sometimes either regarded as a sort of kitsch or as a technique used for artistic (classical) effect, the techniques have useful applications in various degrees in all types of portraiture.</p><p>Contemporary PortraitureModern portraiture has come a long way from the old constraints of static poses and cookie-cutter lighting. But classic lighting patterns and traditional posing still have their place. Corporate headshots and executive portraiture, for instance, are still expected to have that traditional look that makes shareholders feel like their interests are in safe, capable hands. Brides often want at least one very traditional pose of themselves in their wedding gown, even if only out of consideration for their mothers. And sometimes old styles of posing and lighting (and environment) are employed for a retro, vintage, or classic appeal.</p><p>But overall, the majority of todays portrait photographers are less concerned with following old lighting and posing formulas than they are with just making great photos. Many working photographers and hobbyists arent even familiar with the fundamental techniques of photographic lighting. But, without a working knowledge of the basics of lighting, creating those great photos can be a hit-or-miss activity. So, the photographers who are getting the most consistent and predictable results are either instinctively aware of the lighting patterns that work best, or they deliberately use them to help create their portraits. Either way, knowing why and how something works is usually better than just relying on luck.</p><p>It Used To Be Harder To Get InGetting lucky, as it turns out, is part of the process these days. But before digital was king, it was harder and much more costly to shoot until you stumbled upon a few good shots. A 35mm film SLR held at most 36 shots to a standard roll; medium format cameras were capable of considerably less frames before they had to have their film carriers switched out. Put that together with the cost of film, processing, and proofs, and you can see why a professional photographer wasnt likely to shoot any more than necessary to complete a portrait job. Shooting was expensive; photographers had to develop a solid methodology of lighting and posing to keep things profitable.</p><p>Digital shooting also incurs expense, but of a different kind. It costs time and money to edit, make standard RAW adjustments, post-process, store, and backup image files. Where professional photography is concerned, there are a variety of vendors who also take their cut for things like web proofing, design, print sales and fulfillment services, etc. But the real game-changer was how digital completely altered the learning curve of photography. The instantaneous feedback provided by the preview monitor on the back of the camera now allows a photographer at any level to see how they can improve their images as they are shooting a scene.</p><p>Exposure problems are now immediately evident with digital cameras and can be corrected on-the-spot, as can lighting issues. These are areas of photography that, in the days of film, took so much </p></li><li><p>7</p><p>trial and error, and time and expense to learn, many aspiring photographers gave up their dreams of going pro after just several rolls had been spent. The benefits of Polaroid tests were similar to todays instant preview screen feedback but were available only to those who could afford the extra gear and film.</p><p>Now Its Harder To Stay InThis is part of the reason that many of the old pros who paid their dues in film with considerable time and expense are unhappy with the state of the contemporary portraiture market. Many of the old barriers to entry to becoming a professional photographer have fallen away (albeit there are some new ones). Put that together with the technological breakthroughs making it easier to take nicely exposed pictures, and the willingness of new people to enter and compete in the marketplace at price points that often defy fiscal logic, and you can see how the old pros might be a little put off. To them, it seems like too many photographers are flooding the portraiture market to make it viable.</p><p>They feel these new competitors are either lacking in proper gear, technical ability, business sense, an understanding of customer needs, or a combination of the above. In some cases, theyre right. Its really always been that way; new photographers have to start somewhere. There are just more of them out there now. So, like it or not, thats the photography market we live with these days. Want to stay in the game? Youre going to have to find a way to make it work for you.</p><p>Everybodys Doing ItIf youve already put out your shingle and declared yourself a professional photographer, youve no doubt jumped online to check out what other photographers are doing. You might have also noticed that many of their web portfolios look abso...</p></li></ul>