A very elegant and dapper gentleman stopped by the studio today, pausing for a portrait for his upcoming motivational speaker tour. I love being in the presence of such people, because as I try to bring the best out of them, their casual banter pushes me to bring the best out of me!
Got a jump on 2013 with a few guys in the studio last week for some business headshots and wanted to try some alternatives to the usual way I pose and photograph portraits. While much of it has to do with the willingness of your subject to stretch or to move a certain way, it’s my job to make sure they look good, natural and at ease. These fellows were quite different from one another but the goal is always the same… make a few great shots they can use for their marketing materials and get a few outstanding ones for the blog! So here they are… you can tell by the last one we do have a lot of fun doing this!
Had quite the run of family portraits this past holiday season which is great for the old bottom line because things tend to slow down around here as the year comes to a close. When networking in late fall, I always try to mention how the holidays are a great time to get the family and extended family together for holiday family portraits especially when folks are coming into Portland from out-of-town or out-of-country like two of my families were this season. Whether coming into the studio or having the shoot at your home, the holidays are a great time for family portraits!
I was called to the Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus last weekend to shoot portraits of a young man who shares his story of growing up hungry for knowledge to young people overcoming barriers in their lives. I photographed him speaking to a group of about 40 students in an auditorium for about an hour, then pulled him outside for some casual portraits for his website and marketing materials. His story was quite moving.
From an African village, to Food Stamps in America, to Harvard Graduate School, Tamam says “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish that matters.”
Words to live by
Helping me out for a book project on Lighting, my friend Kathryn (a fine photographer herself) and her daughter Adrienne came to the studio and posed for several different portrait lighting styles: butterfly, split, loop, Rembrandt, etc. and kept their energy up throughout the shoot! At the end I wanted to make a shot just for them and this one became my favorite. I think what I really like about this portrait is their expressions, almost those “Mona Lisa smiles”, serious but friendly. If you spend a lot of time looking through lenses at people you will become attuned to very subtle difference in looks, expressions, postures and poses. I love the gentle hand Kathryn lays on her daughters shoulder, protective yet not firm, a strong bond that will never diminish.
Mother’s Day is a great time for portraits, either for moms themselves or as a gift for your favorite Mom! Come in by yourself or with your Mom for a portrait session or call the studio at 503 768-9878 and purchase a gift certificate. Mother’s day is Sunday May 13th, 2012
Providence Medical Center called recently for some new portraits of two of their doctors who were going to be going out and speaking at medical conferences. They needed shots together and portraits alone. So, early on a Sunday evening when the hospital was quiet, we nearly had the whole lobby to ourselves which made picking locations quite easy. They didn’t have a whole lot of time so I took along Canon Speedlites instead of my studio strobes to stay nimble and shoot fast.
I have begun to shoot a lot more horizontal portraits and in a lot looser fashion. This has been fun and I am excited to see the results. It keeps my peripheral vision engaged and allows me to see compositions and settings that I might not have noticed before when I was going in to “just do a headshot”. I’m enthused to see where this new direction takes me and present three of my favorites here!
What do you get when you bring thirteen naturopathic doctors into the studio, after hours, for a group shot for their collective website? If you stick with it long enough, the above shot! We started off with some simple groupings and as we shot some interesting forms started to take shape, much like arranging musical notes on a scale. After a dozen or so shots, I’d have them rearrange themselves then make my compositional tweaks. We ended up shooting about 8 or 9 groupings.
After the final shots, when I knew we had it in the can (memory card?) I let them do what ever they wanted for fun. That’s when all the personalities came out and I really like this one for all the different expressions. It’s always a good idea to have a final fun shot like this when shooting certain groups in the studio or on location. Even better when they bring the beer and pizza!