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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Portrait Tips?
Showing posts 1 - 6 of 6, (reverse)
07/07/2004 01:31:37 PM · #1
Hey everyone! I need to have some general tips on how to shoot portraits. I am doing my brother's senior pictures, and I want to make them look nice! Anybody have any tips on setup(have no studio available)---first timer here!
Thanks a lot in advance!
07/07/2004 01:40:39 PM · #2
You will need at least two lights. Lacking this, your best bet is to shoot outside and at the edge of the shade. Place subject in shaded area and obtain a white poster board and place it as near as possible to give some reflected light. Play around with position until you find the best arrangement.
07/07/2004 01:44:44 PM · #3
There is a great pulication called "Better Digital Photography", it's a UK publication that has found its way across the 'pond' and resides in the magizine racks of Border's Books & Music, here in the States.

The May 2004, Issue 09; has a very nice piece on potrait shots and how to get some real good ones, with limited equipment. It has seriously piqued my interest in a "Hammerhead" flash...

Since it is a bit old, they might have the article posted up on the web-site here.
07/07/2004 01:50:14 PM · #4
Sorry... I just followed that web-site and there isn't anything there displaying that issue I referred to.

07/07/2004 01:51:24 PM · #5
No prob! Thanks for the thought...
07/07/2004 02:08:50 PM · #6
For senior portraits don't shoot too wide an angle. You don't need too much of the subject's body to appear in the frame so don't be scared to get a little closer to him and fill the frame up with his face and shoulders. After checking out the S5000Z it looks like it has an effective zoom from 37mm to 300+mm. Most portraits occur in the range from 75-105 effective mm. That would mean that zooming in about 1/3 of the way with your camera should give a reasonable dimension to his features. Also, since your camera can shoot it I'd suggest shooting as wide open as possible (and that appears to be f/2.8). That allows you to blur out the background and focus the viewer's attention on the subject.
As far as composition goes you probably don't want to pose him in front of a very active background (that'd go for patterns and colors). I'd also suggest that he not wear black or white unless those colors are required as they can be a pain in the neck to expose for properly in natural light. You'll probably want to move your subject out from most backgrounds so that he/she doesn't cast hard shadows that are visible in the frame.
You will want to light his face so a trip to Wal-Mart (or whatever store you want that sells posterboard) is in order. Pickup some white posterboard and this can be curved or held flat to reflect sunlight onto his face and help remove the shadows that are bound to appear under his eyes and around his nose. If you can get someone to help, have one person hold the poster paper off to your right or left and have them simply move it around (with one of the flat sides facing your subject) so that you can then stand where you expect to take the picture and you can watch as the reflected sunlight begins to dance across the subject and you can then direct the helper so that he/she can bounce light onto the subject properly. You would probably find it beneficial to have two people helping you with one on your left and one on your right to help you light up your subject but if you're like me finding a helper is an exasperating experience.

(had an interruption that broke the train of thought)

Hope some of this helps,

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