Photo by Scott Bourne - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

I’ve studied portraiture with Don Blair, Joyce Wilson, Monte Zucker, Clay Blackmore and others. I’ve come to realize that most people don’t actually study portraiture anymore. They tend to just run and gun. If you don’t want to spend time learning from the masters, at least consider these three simple tips.

1. Start with one light. It’s easier to master. It’s easier to set up. It costs less than two. It’s less intimidating to the client and with the use of reflectors, can act like three or four lights.

2. When you’re shooting a basic portrait, remember the reflector should never be held adjacent to the head. The reflector stops where the face begins my friends Monte and Clay would say. This technique is called feathering.

3. Remember to pose the subject before you light them. This order is very important. The lighting position always serves the pose, not the other way around.

Try these for yourself. See if they don’t improve your portraits.

_______

This Post Sponsored by:

lynda.com Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try lynda.com free for 10 days by visiting lynda.com/​Photofocus.

Skip Cohen University Professional photo education for wedding & portrait photographers.

ThingLink offers an interactive, online photo experience like nothing you’ve seen before. Join for free.

Drobo – Not only is Drobo 5D fast, but it’s easy-to-use, expandable, flexible, and protected.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. I don’t quite follow what tip #2 is saying. I do know how to feather with a softbox, so maybe it is just the word “reflector” that is throwing me off. Would you mind explaining further?

    Reply
  2. Can you please elaborate on #2? Thank you for the tips!

    Reply
  3. @Greg it is the same with a reflector. Just don’t put the reflector even with the face. Put the reflector so it doesn’t go past the nose when perpendicular to the face.

    Reply
  4. Your views on portrait photographers look very impressive and commendable. I feel that portrait photography is totally different from other styles and needs to be handled with care. This style of photography is mostly practiced in the UK and allowed to remunerate the modern and hi-tech equipments to deal with. Overall I think that portrait photographers have evolved with their new ideas and innovation.

    Reply

Let us know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Retired traveling and unhooking from the Internet.

Category

Technique & Tutorials

Tags

, , ,