Studio session: portraits

My irrational fear of working in a studio was challenged during a session designed to start getting to grips with portrait photography in this environment. This post reflects on my experience using continuous light and working with a model.

With the help of a light meter, I set the camera up to the appropriate aperture and shutter speed. The studio was set up with basic lighting, using a main light and fill light on either side of the camera and a fixed lens.

At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the information I needed to remember, and think my nerves were evident in the pictures I captured.

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As I grew more confident in my abilities, I feel this translated more effectively to the model and I began to engage with him better. This, in turn, produced higher quality images in which I had more control and was able to provide the model with clearer direction. Switching to portrait shots instead of landscape changed and, in my opinion, improved the compositions dramatically.

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I like to think that one of my strengths in this exercise was making the model feel comfortable. As an anxious person, I understand the need to interact with the subject and make them feel at ease in order to facilitate generally better compositions which are less forced.

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