From the course: Portrait Photography: Sports Portraits on LinkedIn Learning

Shooting additional elements from Portrait Photography: Sports Portraits by Robert Vanelli

While we have our actor or athlete on the set, we’re also going to have him turn his back so I can snap a photo of his jersey number. I’m doing this because it gives me more options when I’m working inside of Photoshop. So, imagine having a beautiful portrait of him and then—in the background, just faded—is another shot of him with his head down, looking away. It could look like he was on game day. So these are little extra elements you want to shoot while we’ve got them on set.

Here’s how the set direction might go: “Good, now, you were standing here, then I had you turn here. Now one last shot—turn all the way around. Good. I want to see that number, head down, good. Now, on this here, arch your back just a touch and head over here. Perfect.”

Now, I just had him arch his back in a position he normally doesn’t do. He’s going to feel a little uncomfortable, but that’s fine. This is going to be faded, so it really doesn’t matter how he’s posing, I just need that number. And I can manipulate the angle inside Photoshop, but it’s best to get it done in camera ahead of time.

Now, let’s wrap up our directions: “So, I’m going to push a little more here, head down. Good. I’ll be back, you stay right there. Beautiful, good. Now, take your right foot and move it up closer to the backdrop. That’s it. And take your left foot and swing it all the way back. So, I kind of want to see your face. Good, so keep turning, keep turning, right there, perfect. Good, I got the number, I got you looking down. Awesome, tight fist, tight fist. Good. Nice, nice, Drew. Drop your shoulder just a little so I can see your face a little. Good, I’m going to drop a little bit lower to keep the perspective. That’s great, that’s great.”