Tuesday, April 6, 2010

8 Quick Tips To Portrait Photography, by Ezekiel

Have you ever wanted to learn how the professionals take a photo? I searched high and low and found just the person to demonstrate proper use of a camera. ; ) He may stand only 2 feet tall and be a mere 2.5 years old, but he's got the vocabulary of 3.5 year old and camera skilz like nobody's biznaz. (yes, I do a poor job at talking gangsta)

So with no further ado, let me introduce Ezekiel (hereinafter referred to as 'Zeeky") my nephew who's about to teach us all how to use our camera, mind, heart, and whim to utilize 8 tips to portrait photography.

1. Before you start clicking your shutter, get to know your subject. Notice their expressions; excitement, nervous, joy. Engage in conversation and establish common interests to make them more comfortable.

2. As you're talking, start envisioning what shots you'll take. Hold your eye up to the viewfinder and take some 'test shots.' Zeeky's got some really creative ways to look through your viewfinder, I may just try these myself. ; )

3. It's good to check your photos periodically as you go to ensure exposure is correct, but NEVER review each image and become more engaged with your playback than your subject. This can make them nervous and wonder if their photos are turning out.

Again, some creative ways to look through the viewfinder. : )

4. Still having trouble braking the ice with your subject? Give them a prop, something to focus on other than how to hold their hands. I like to find something either relevant to the subject or an object that I find aesthetically appealing, like this vintage bingo basket I found. Zeeky loves playing with this, and I find the concentration on his face perfectly represents where he's at in his developmental process.

5. Take time to photograph the details. Surroundings, props, eyes, hair, every part that represents them. Focusing in on one little part of your subject is a great way to really command the viewer's attention to that feature. Like Zeeky's hands. We may have missed how little and cute his little fingers were, or how dexterous he's becoming as he spins the bingo basket had I not focused in on just his hand.

6. Give your subject verbal prompts. As candid as these next few shots may look, I actually asked him to laugh at the camera. I'm all about a natural and un-posed photo, but sometimes a little acting goes a long way. Try to get as many natural smiles and giggles as you can, but don't be afraid to simply ask for the look you want.

7. Get on the same level. This is especially important when photographing small children. Being on the same level as your subject gives them more significance and power in your photo, and relates more intimately with them. There are times to get lower or higher, but don't always stand in place and shoot. Play with perspective and capture the world as they see it, from 2 feet tall.

8. Be true to yourself and your interests when you get behind the camera. Invest your whole mind and heart as you connect with your subject and dare to see things a new fresh way.

Alright, that's a wrap. Let's hear it for Zeeky, he did a splendid job!


Steph B. said...

What a great and fun post! And of course wonderful photos as alwasy :)

Red Pearl Designs said...

Such a clever way to incorporate a photography lesson and amazing shots of Zeeky into one post! This made me laugh, this made me smile, and it melted my heart all at the same time (plus it apparently made me sound extra cheesy today). Love it, and love you!

Matt J said...

Great Job! I love reading your posts and always struggle with my portrait sessions and this gives me some ideas on how to improve. Thanks!

ashley sturm said...

Thanks everyone, I'm glad this served as inspiration, motivation, and a good bit of entertainment!

sally said...

these are amazing ash! great work, and loved the tutorial as well!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!!! Creative and engaging. and the boy is stinkin' cute!

PhotogeniqueGirl said...

i'll keep these suggestions in mind when i do my next shoot :)

portrait photography Seattle said...

I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this nice information regarding regarding I really appreciate your work, keep it up.

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