Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:34 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:02 pm 
Sorry for being stupid but what is portrait photography and how it differs from snapshotting your friends? (Is it because DSLRs give you more controls on the DOF? I was often told in portraiture, the shallower, the better.)

Why are people getting paid for doing so?

Do all portrait photographers have strobes or other professional equipments?

How does a professional photographer work? When taking photos of a model, do you tell her/him how to posture or is it her/his job?


I also kind of have the feeling that a good portrait photo is 50% to the photographer and 50% to the model. (Not exactly like nature or macro photography, if you took an amazing shot of a butterfly, you don't share the trophy with it) If the girl is prettier and better at posturing, the photos will be more appealing. Photographers are not magicians in this kind of photography.

Any thoughts?

Best Regards,
Tony


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:45 pm 
chickenflavoredchips wrote:
Sorry for being stupid but what is portrait photography and how it differs from snapshotting your friends? (Is it because DSLRs give you more controls on the DOF? I was often told in portraiture, the shallower, the better.)
The difference between a candid shot (snapshot) and a portrait can be multiple things, but basically, the difference is that a portrait is a bit more formal. More of a photo that tells a story, or show's something specifically. A candid shot is more of a, "Hey smile!". Portraits are usually posed, planned, and composed specifically.

Why are people getting paid for doing so?
Portraits aren't easy to do. Many people want portraits of their family, many want portraits for a wedding, (bride and groom). Models need portraits, all the shots of models in magazines are considered portraits... Portraiture requires a lot of detailed work. In portraits, it's mostly about the lighting and the pose.

Do all portrait photographers have strobes or other professional equipments?
Not all. Pretty much all studio portrait work requires the use of some sort of strobe or light. But there is a lot of outdoor portraiture that just uses natural light and a reflector. So a strobe isn't necessary, but can be used.

How does a professional photographer work? When taking photos of a model, do you tell her/him how to posture or is it her/his job?
Depends on the situation. 95% of the time, the photographer is directing the model. That 5% is the time where the model can do whatever "feels right and comfortable". That is the time where the model continues to do different poses, allowing the photographer to take whichever shots he or she thinks will look good. But most professional portrait photographers will direct their model(s) and already have poses and compositions in mind.

I also kind of have the feeling that a good portrait photo is 50% to the photographer and 50% to the model. (Not exactly like nature or macro photography, if you took an amazing shot of a butterfly, you don't share the trophy with it) If the girl is prettier and better at posturing, the photos will be more appealing. Photographers are not magicians in this kind of photography.
To an extent that is true. Say for example a fairly "large" woman wants portraits done of her. The photographer needs to pose her in ways that do not add to her "weight" or excess skin. The photographer will pose, and compose the shot to make the lady look good and the way she wants to be looked. Sadly, more people look at the model's beauty and judge the portrait that way. Whereas the technique behind the photo should be viewed and judged. It's understandable, and can't be changed. But it's a bit unfortunate how someone can take a snapshot of a beautiful woman and receive great praise, and then a photographer takes a studio portrait with beautiful lighting, composition and pose, but only receive half of the praise as the first one did.

Any thoughts?

Best Regards,
Tony


Added my reply through the quote...


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:58 pm 
Thank you Sdrummer! Your reply is very helpful.

I'm surprised to learn that 95% of the time, it's the photographer who directs the model. I thought the photographer was only there to "capture the right moments".

For the lighting, can a flashgun with a soft box do the job of a reflector?

Cheers,
Tony


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:57 pm 
chickenflavoredchips wrote:
Thank you Sdrummer! Your reply is very helpful.

I'm surprised to learn that 95% of the time, it's the photographer who directs the model. I thought the photographer was only there to "capture the right moments".

For the lighting, can a flashgun with a soft box do the job of a reflector?

Cheers,
Tony


Well that's not exactly a 100% accurate speculation. I was basically just trying to show the point... In practice though, the majority is the photographer directing the pose.

I mentioned the reflector for outdoor work. Shooting natural light. You find an open area in the sky (a.k.a. the softbox) and then reflect it onto your model. Any light that you don't need would be taken away by a black cloth.

For the studio, there are still uses to reflectors, but the flashgun with a softbox will do fine for a main or fill light source. It's just that the softbox w/flash is intended for different uses as a reflector.


Last edited by Sdrummer on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:39 pm 
thanks for the long answers. Others are learning too :D

thanks


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:23 pm 
Sdrummer wrote:
How does a professional photographer work? When taking photos of a model, do you tell her/him how to posture or is it her/his job?
Depends on the situation. 95% of the time, the photographer is directing the model. That 5% is the time where the model can do whatever "feels right and comfortable". That is the time where the model continues to do different poses, allowing the photographer to take whichever shots he or she thinks will look good. But most professional portrait photographers will direct their model(s) and already have poses and compositions in mind.

I also kind of have the feeling that a good portrait photo is 50% to the photographer and 50% to the model. (Not exactly like nature or macro photography, if you took an amazing shot of a butterfly, you don't share the trophy with it) If the girl is prettier and better at posturing, the photos will be more appealing. Photographers are not magicians in this kind of photography.
To an extent that is true.


For the first part, I'd like to think of it not as a percentage, but a relationship. The rapport between the photographer and the subject/model is an important part of the package. Both work together and in that way, you can't judge it as separate entities but only as a whole. If you're looking for a portrait photographer, one big criteria is whether they make you feel comfortable. Once in the comfort zone, it's easier to "pose" in what "feels right and comfortable". Having said this, it's the photographer's responsibility to make sure things are going well and to offer advice and support with posturing.

As for the second part, that comes together with what I've mentioned in the first. Avoid separate percentages and think of the package as whole. Technical ability is one thing as Sdrummer has highlighted, but if your subject(s) had fun during the portrait session, and also has something to take away that they like, then that's a job well done and "a good portrait photo".


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:49 am 
I have some questions... :?

I know that any type of photography requires maximum concentration on making the photo & as less aditional editing as possible...
1. How much editing I am "allowed" to make? In terms of compensation for unwanted effects (dull/contrasted colors,strong shadows,CA & more) all the way to a "perfect look",like I tried to do in my latest portrait photos. I read that portrait shots are more appealing if they look as perfect as possible(and I'm not refering to fashion photos!).
I also read that portrait shots must be as natural as possible....yes,that really solves my dilema.....

2. I asked this friend of mine & she said it's up to me on how much I must edit,including adjusting some of the model's features,that can be unpleasant for the model if she/he doesn't know about this. This is NOT a good answer for me!
3. I love photography & I want to learn,learn,learn, and my photos to lack loads of editing if it's not necessary. Are any rules about this? I mean common sense rules or "to-do"'s for photographers and different types of photography....


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:40 am 
As far as I know, as long as the integrity of the original is preserved, some postprocessing it's ok (levels, curves, contrast, saturation, sharpness, shadows/highlights adjustments, and possibly others). Any more and it's gonna be called photo-manipulation (cloning out some areas of the picture, etc)...

Cheers,
HNV


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:57 pm 
Quote:
Why are people getting paid for doing so?


Because there is a market for it, media: magazine, newspaper, yearbook, web, advertising, personal collection, and other purposes.

Quote:
Do all portrait photographers have strobes or other professional equipments?


Yes, pro portrait photographers usually has lighting system, in studio or outside studio. Outside, they usually carry light stand, tripod, strobes, umbrella, reflectors and portable batteries.

Quote:
How does a professional photographer work? When taking photos of a model, do you tell her/him how to posture or is it her/his job?


Usually photographer directs the model to pose, especially if the subject is not used to modelling. if you take a picture of experienced model tho, like fashion, it is easier.

But most of the time, photographer is the director, because photographer has and should has a vision of the result.

there is a photographer that aiming for natural shots too, or photojournalistic style. The photographer will not direct but follow and observe what the subject do. Following the subject when they do their work is the easiest way to achieve this kind of style.

Quote:
I also kind of have the feeling that a good portrait photo is 50% to the photographer and 50% to the model. (Not exactly like nature or macro photography, if you took an amazing shot of a butterfly, you don't share the trophy with it) If the girl is prettier and better at posturing, the photos will be more appealing. Photographers are not magicians in this kind of photography.


Yes, i agree, nicer looking or exotic model and a nice setting will be better than less nice looking model in a boring setting.

In the real world, portrait photographers deal with less nicer subjects.
It is the challenge that the photographer need to face all the time.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:44 pm 
Thanks everyone for the feedbacks!

I do have learned a few important things.

I took a look at book.fr, a famous website here in France where photographers meet models. I have viewed some of their works and felt that a good general/fashion portrait photo requires a competent photographer and a beautiful/talented model and sometimes a good make-up artist. An unattractive/boring person can never make a portrait photo interesting (at least to me), it's a pity but I guess that's the way it is.

However, sometimes a portrait photo is telling a story, and the framed person hasn't to be sexy or attractive but the most suitable for the particular theme.

I went to an exposition called "30 years of emotions" organized by Figaro magazine last month and some of those photos are the greatest portrait photos I've ever seen in my life. I don't know if the style should be called photojournalism instead of portraiture, but they are indeed portrait photos by definition.

I will ask a friend to be the model so I can take some portrait photos of her in a park. But I'm not sure if it'll be my cup of tea. I think I would prefer to record natural emotions than telling her how to smile.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:54 am 
Razvan wrote:
I have some questions... :?

I know that any type of photography requires maximum concentration on making the photo & as less aditional editing as possible...
1. How much editing I am "allowed" to make? In terms of compensation for unwanted effects (dull/contrasted colors,strong shadows,CA & more) all the way to a "perfect look",like I tried to do in my latest portrait photos. I read that portrait shots are more appealing if they look as perfect as possible(and I'm not refering to fashion photos!).
I also read that portrait shots must be as natural as possible....yes,that really solves my dilema.....

2. I asked this friend of mine & she said it's up to me on how much I must edit,including adjusting some of the model's features,that can be unpleasant for the model if she/he doesn't know about this. This is NOT a good answer for me!
3. I love photography & I want to learn,learn,learn, and my photos to lack loads of editing if it's not necessary. Are any rules about this? I mean common sense rules or "to-do"'s for photographers and different types of photography....


Your question's are pretty personal. There is no "photographic police" that will tell you have done too much editing on this image. Sorry, it's useless now.

No, you are the judge of that.

Portraits should be natural sure. Traditional portraits would be a good example.

Painted canvas backdrop, pose, lighting, etc'. Imagine you are in the film days. No photoshop back then.

Some photographers might hate editing because they feel it "takes away". It's really a personal preference.

There is no 'harm' in editing.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:16 am 
chickenflavoredchips wrote:
I took a look at book.fr, a famous website here in France where photographers meet models. I have viewed some of their works and felt that a good general/fashion portrait photo requires a competent photographer and a beautiful/talented model and sometimes a good make-up artist. An unattractive/boring person can never make a portrait photo interesting (at least to me), it's a pity but I guess that's the way it is.

You may have seen this before but if you haven't....

Ben
_________________
When in doubt..... Press the shutter.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:41 pm 
Thank you Ben! The video explained everything.

Cheers,
Tony


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:09 pm 
Thank you for the reply,Sdrummer.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:14 am
Posts: 599
Location: Netherlands
and this is the other side of the story, of course...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-kSZsvBY-A&feature=related

_________________
flickr
Canon 5D + 17-40 F4L + 50 F1.4 + 70-200 F2.8L
Velbon Sherpa 200R


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group