Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is a good example of composing a photograph to take advantage of contrast differences. As I set this up last night, I chose to place Chris and Kristine in front of the shadow side of the barn, while they were still catching direct sunlight on themselves. Had I placed them to their left 5 more feet, they would have been much harder to see in front of the sunny side of the barn. While this tip might seem obvious as you look at the finished result above, keep in mind that the human eye sees a far greater range of detail than the camera does. So the shady side of the barn doesn't look nearly as black when you are standing there in the scene. But remembering how it will look to the camera is critical here. You can then place subject so they are bright and background is dark, for a pleasing contrast.

I then framed the composition to be a panoramic, asking my subjects to remain very still. Ideally a tripod would be wise in order to end up with best result. But in the spirit of breaking the rules (and not having my tripod with me) I was able to hand hold the camera and got a successful result.

We found a perfect local gem at the train museum east of town. Kristine was a brave soul, climbing up a steep ladder in high heels to reach the top of locomotive engine 296. And when it comes to sunglasses, bring 'em along! Some shots are great as they look into the sun right before it sets. In real life people would not take their glasses off in order to 'follow the rules' of portraiture. So I have them put their sunglasses back on for a more natural look and feel. Great way to avoid squinting eyes, too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Future of Corporate Headshots?

Just the other day at a photography marketing seminar I was told that corporate headshots are nothing more than a commodity, where the client will probably hire you based on the personal relationship you cultivate with them. That corporate headshots are cookie-cutter and boring. But at a different photography seminar this past weekend ("Small Strobes, Big Results", by Tejada Photography) in Denver, we delved deep into the realm of making dynamic imagery that defies safe and conservative 'rules' for corporate portraits. Everything was done with small strobes (Nikon SB 800s) and some fairly basic light modifiers, but with some clever setups. David Tejada is a great instructor with the heart of a teacher and a love of sharing what he has learned over the course of his 25 years in corporate photography.

Who says you have to do things the traditional way every time?