New to portrait photography .....

New to portrait photography .....

13 posts
16 Jan 2015
JasonsPhotos
Photographer
JasonsPhotos
this is a new area of photography for me, and I welcome any comments, hits, tips etc

Posted 16 Jan 2015
marlhamphoto
Photographer
marlhamphoto
If you're serious about pursuing portrait photography then I'd recommend getting some tuition aimed at consolidating what you know already and introducing concepts such as subject isolation, compositional devices, narrative, and basic retouching (including B&W conversion methods). I think you would find such a course valuable and rewarding.

Good luck
Posted 16 Jan 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
I'd consider getting a firmer grip of reality. Your notes are thrown together but suggest you're a semi professional? I'm not certain what proportion of your bills you're able to cover with your photography income currently, but I'd suggest its closer to just your broadband costs than rent and food. Your photography is pretty basic and lacks any obvious insight into composition, struggling occasionally with simple exposure or iso choice.

If you're serious rather than deluded you're about ready for a serious rethink in terms of direction and skills set acquisition I'd suggest. Since you're not showing much natural inclination in your portfolio towards I interesting well crafted pictures, you're going to need to find someone skilled as both photographer and also tutor to get you moving in a positive direction.

Mind you, my feeling is your sketchy notes indicate you're just after shooting nudes rather than portraits, there's no shame in that and the site can accommodate your intent, but expect to pay for good models rather than find any of them willing to shoot with you for free.

So, up to you really, how genuine and determined are you to become a portrait photographer?

Posted 16 Jan 2015
Edited by profilepictures 16 Jan 2015
JasonsPhotos
Photographer
JasonsPhotos
Thank you for your comments so far, as I said I am NEW and yes I still have a lot to learn ... I am lucky in respect that my Mortgage dose not depend on my photography but I have done some paid work and it pays its expenses.
The first comment is very helpful and has given me pointers as to where to improve, the second comment rather less so other that to give their opinion. All of which is fair enough.

Considering I have only done six profile shoots ( 4 for friends ) I think I have started ok? We all started somewhere right?

Posted 16 Jan 2015
Fisherface
Make Up Artist
Fisherface
Hi Jason,

I'm going to be totally honest with you.  I think you need to rewrite your port notes for a start.  For now at this stage, all you need to say is that you're a keen beginner and that you're hoping to build up your portfolio.  Also do a spell check.

I think you would benefit from some tutorials...one to one preferably, and with professional models....certainly with a professional photograher.  Don't try anything creative yet, but concentrate on getting good basic images.  If you work with a pro model, all you will need to worry about is the photography and not what the model looks like.  If you take a look at some of your images, the models are frowning or in really unflattering angles which doesn't help the picture overall.

If I were you, I would delete most of the images you currently have on your page here. I realize you will need to leave some so my advice would be to leave the following:  1st in headshot category, 4th in nude and 1st and 3rd in fashion. 

Sorry if you're getting negative feedback but I think it's better to be honest.  Also, In your port notes you said you had done some paid shoots?  If you mean that you were paid by girls for images, then you need to stop.  You need much more experience before even thinking about charging for your work.  Get some tuition and set yourself a goal of creating a few really good images that are well lit, in focus and have some contrast.

Best of luck.

Posted 16 Jan 2015
Edited by Fisherface 16 Jan 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
OK, so you don't like my comments so much. I was trying to be as fair as possible but perhaps I'll take a further nudge before you get my point? Your notes suggest semi professional, you say you're being g paid for your work? Jeez, ypy even say you've shot weddings! You're not up to it, that's apparent to all commenting.

Again, if you just fancy taking some nude photos, fine, pay the model fees and do so, that's appropriate to the site. What's not appropriate is to suggest any real skill in the area or that anyone's is getting anything of value due to your self professed professional title. That'd be bullshit.

Unless you're not showing your best work here?

Posted 16 Jan 2015
TheChrisS
Photographer
TheChrisS
I think the problem is that you state you're "semi-professional". This may be the case in your other genres but being new in Portrait Photography doesn't make you semi professional.

You have a lot of photos in your portfolio but they're very samey, they lack contrast and look rather flat with poor composition. Your wide angle image of the man leaning on the fence is probably your best shot, and I quite like the idea of the topless woman and her shadow... Note that I like the idea of it but the execution... Not so good, it's a bit scruffy.

I agree with everyone else - rethink your portfolio notes, delete most of your images (quality, not quantity), focus more on your technique rather than trying to get women with their clothes off (they're not flattering) and consider using more colour. Black and white can be good but it's just not done well, they look like they belong in a black and white photocopied newsletter. Think of investing in a flashgun and learning how to use it to give your images more punch.

Practice!

Posted 16 Jan 2015
keithpics
Photographer
keithpics
The term 'Portrait Photography' is quite broad and includes Passport/ID, Family, For private clients, For business clients, etc. As with any business, you need to establish where your clients will come from and what their requirements will be. Those that specialise tend to be more successful, at least in staying in business over the first year or two. That doesn't mean you can't move on to something else later.

Then you can consider the equipment you need, any training needs, premises, etc. Do the planning before you start spending. There's no point spending thousands if cheaper equipment will do the job just as well.

As has been said, one to one tuition would be your best bet if/where needed. Ideally, get advice from someone who has already successfully done what you want to do. That may mean travelling; someone local may not appreciate assisting someone to be a close competitor.

Do you want to be in the Best Photographer league or the Best Paid Photographer league? The two aren't necessarily the same.



Posted 17 Jan 2015
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
If you mean headshot type of portraits, a good understanding of obtaining an expression and matching it to the shots is useful, as is knowledge of dimensional lighting.
Good luck.


Posted 22 Jan 2015
marlhamphoto
Photographer
marlhamphoto
@OP - if you are serious and tuition is something you'd value then be aware that Allinthemind has tutored a number of photographers who've themselves become quite succesful in this funny old game of model photography.
Posted 22 Jan 2015
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
Some articles that may be useful here..

http://photography-coach.co.uk/articles/

Posted 22 Jan 2015
Alan_Jay
Photographer
Alan_Jay
Hi Jason,
In my experience,  learning is best done when there is a mix of experience and no experience.  Whilst I understand the idea of working TF with a model at a similar stage,  it probably won't deliver much value to either of you.  My advice, in addition to workshops and/or tutorials,  would be to find a local model with a good deal of experience and spend time working with them.  Admittedly you may well be paying them,  but that is a good investment that will pay long term dividends.

I paid for a portrait workshop,  which was probably the best training I ever got in photography.  We didn't have any models as such,  but posed for each other.  It gave me some insight into what it is like in front of the camera,  which has been very useful in most other genres.

Possibly more than any other people genre,  portrait photography is very much 'less is more'.  Clutter is your enemy.
What you include and what you exclude from a portrait are equally important.

Have you tried setting up a shoot with model, (live or using a dummy), staying still and your camera on a tripod,  taking a series of shots at different apertures?  If not,  it may be a good exercise to try.
I'm sure you know the rule that 'the bigger the number, the smaller the hole and the greater the depth of field'.  By using a smaller numbered aperture,  you can often blur out distractions and increase the impact of the subject.

Composition may well be improved if you revisit 'the rule of thirds'.
Posted 23 Jan 2015
Edited by Alan_Jay 23 Jan 2015
katiesoze
Photographer
katiesoze
You have potential of course, but I think you should stop using the same post processing on every single one of your shots. It makes your port look like one sea of low contrast BW. I won't quibble about your notes.
Posted 4 April 2015
To reply to this thread you must be a member. Click here to join