Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things I Learned During my First Portrait Session

So, with any time I take my camera out I try and learn something and there was a lot of learning that took place since this was my first time photographing something that can smile back at me! Here's a couple things I picked up yesterday...

  1. Teenagers aren't as difficult as I once thought. Actually, I think senior photos may be my favorite think to shoot.  Then again.. I haven't done anything else (yet)
  2. Make sure you wear the proper footwear.  I am perpetually wearing the wrong shoes in the wrong places.  Flip-flops are not ideal for old abandoned buildings. 
  3. Scouting the place you where you are shooting ahead of time is very important!  I went back three times to where the shoot was going to be held to make note of the light during different times of day and know the lay of the area.  What a good decision that was!
  4. High contrast lightning can be pretty difficult to photograph, but taking advantage of unusual natural spot lightning can create a really cool effect. 
  5. I can take an HDR of a person, too, not just inanimate objects.
  6. Somehow I can be creative and snap shots that look professional and not overly posed, but I dare not say its "instinctual"... how can you if you've only done it once anyway? 
  7. Slow shutter speeds are not friendly at all. (duh...)
  8. I need to multiple photographs of the same exact pose/scene so that I'll get at least one where the person is not blinking.  There were a couple really good photos I couldn't use because of this!
  9. It is possible to quickly adjust manual settings on my camera and tailor it to the scene without screwing it up.  My entire shoot was done with manual settings I selected rather than choose any auto or semi-auto setting on my camera.  
  10. Looking at other people's work in advance is really helpful.  Not just to use ideas from what they do, but to also figure out what not to do, too!
It is incredibly fun to tackle something new, despite the nerves, and looking back at the list it looks like I learned a lot through taking these photos.  That's the important thing about becoming and being a good photographer... never stop learning.  never stop trying something new.  never be afraid of what you can accomplish!

 I can't wait for what comes next and am so happy those of you who have supported me from when my camera was just a small hobby to where I am now.  If you are in/around Vermont let me know. I would love to do this again soon!


  1. These all came out so well! Looks like you had a pretty laid back guy for the shoot. How did you decide on pricing/what are you providing them (will you be making prints? giving the a CD of the files?)? You did so great! I bet they are really happy with the results!

  2. Someone else I follow just recently had her first human photo-shoot too. She said the same thing as you, that she was really nervous, but it all turned out great. She shot a couple for their engagement, and luckily they were up for anything, including mugging with the manikins in a shop window!

    Awesome photos!

  3. I am so happy with the photos and am telling everyone I know. I couldn't have asked for a better experience or better results.

  4. Thank so much Dawn! :)
    And thanks everyone for your nice compliments! It really means a lot.


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