Portrait note

Two notes for you today.

When you are doing a portrait, first, always at some stage take a pull-back shot. So when you shoot something like this (of a very beautiful student, as shot in the course I taught at Vistek last Saturday afternoon):

Shoot this also, so you remember how you did it:

Then the second note. The background. Think about what you want.

  • If you want a full white background, start white and blast it with light.
  • If however you want a saturated colour, do not overexpose: first ensure that little or no no light from the other flashes falls onto the background, then shoot it not too bright with gels.
  • Or if you want a nice falloff, like I often use, and as I used in the picture above, then merge the two. Start dark, light up in a selected area, perhaps using a close-by flash, if necessary with a grid. Sideways lighting gets you a parabola (remember your cone cuts in math).

We often forget to think about the background, concentrating instead on the foreground only. The background is a very important part of the image… think about what you want, then try to get that.



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