Shooting Girls


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Shooting Girls

25 May 2020 10:09AM   Views : 432 Unique : 319

That was the title of an article that I wrote for Pentax User magazine, a long time ago. Today I'll look at portraits, female portraits, and tomorrow it will be the turn of male portraits. But for today, I'm talking about likenesses of people of course and another really difficult area of photography. As a beginner, people will shy away from our cameras, we'll feel too embarrassed to take the time necessary to get things right, we'll look clumsy and even suspicious as we try our hand at street for the first time. To a large extent I think this is overcome by practice and perhaps even more so by confidence. If we look as though we are meant to be doing whatever we are doing, then nobody will bat an eyelid. The other tools at our disposal include communication and a smile. At the very bottom of my list is the camera, and I assume that we can all handle our cameras smoothly, efficiently and without needing to fiddle with the controls. Models will soon get bored with photographers who can't find how to change the ISO or the exposure compensation.

Talking to the subject is so very important of course, and doing so naturally if possible. What about? Anything to break the ice, but explaining what the pictures are for, how they might be approached, sharing ideas and also listening to feedback can all help. As for lighting, these days I am more and more looking to natural light, coupled perhaps with a reflector and always attempting to make sure the eyes are glistening. The reflector is often a gold one, to warm the image. When using film I would have warmed a colour image with an 81A (Cloudy) filter, using JPEG digital capture I use Daylight or Cloudy white balance settings.

This is not intended to be a complete discourse on portraiture, but a more personal look of how I did and do shoot people. Let's have a look at some pictures.

Donna, one of my first digital studio shoots

Kelly, deep in shadows

Sarah, band of light across the eyes. Obviously I'd been watching too much Star Trek

Liz, a force to be reckoned with and genuinely a martial artist

Cassie with lots of red gels over the studio lights

Maxine, the definitive portrait

Brazen Strumpet! (Or, If Looks Could Kill....)

Lucy, happy and relaxed

Linzi, "Neon Girl"

Sam as the Cheshire Cat

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