So last weekend I got to shoot with a friend of mine, Korea. We've been talking about doing a shoot for a couple years now and finally got the oppurtunity. I was all stoked, but Korea had some worries. She told me she was really nervous about shooting and after talking it was completely understandable. As the photographer you really never think about the pressure the person on the other end of the lens might be under. This got me thinking and I wanted to share a few tips I've picked up while shooting people over the years.
First and foremost, make whoever you are photographing feel comfortable. I know one of the first things you hear when you start out in photography is always be friendly with your client, but sometimes you have to go the extra mile and really get to know your model or client. Fortunately, Korea and I had known each other for years so it was easier for her to get comfortable in front of the camera. But it still took some time and talking with her helped her a lot she told me.
Secondly, don't expect your model to make every shot perfect. You need to let the mood flow and keep your finger ready to shoot when your model gets that perfect pose or face. Sometimes it's a hit and miss kind of thing. When we were shooting I had a lot more photos I couldn't use than I could use, but those select few came out amazing. Just taking your time and being patient can really pay off with a shy model or client. My favorite portrait that I've shot this year was taken when shooting with Korea!
Lastly, I just want to talk about something that Korea said while we were shooting. She told me she really wanted to take some awesome photos, but her nerves were getting in the way. We ended up getting some AMAZING photos but what she said just made me think. I've been on photography jobs where I will get fed up when I'm trying to shoot with a client, but we aren't getting anything good. I never really stop to think that this is probably their first time in front of a camera with an actual photographer or maybe they just get really nervous in front of a camera. As photographers we need to remember this and not get irritated if we aren't getting the photos we want. Just remain calm, talk to your model or client, and just know that eventually you'll get some great shots!
(Some of the photos from my shoot with Korea are down below)
Shooting outdoor portraits can seem a little daunting at first. It's not like shooting in a studio where you can control everything from lighting to background. Outdoor portrait photography is a toss up of sorts. You never know if the weather will suddenly change and the light you had from the sun disappears into the clouds, but once you get your footing per say it's one of the best forms of photography to shoot. I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I have picked up over the years shooting outdoor portraits!
1. Lighting is your number one priority when shooting outdoors. It can make or break how your model or client's face look in the photos. Shooting in the afternoon is one of the worst times to try and photograph portraits outdoors because of the harsh shadows that will be created on the face of who you're photographing. Try shooting in the morning or near sunset, the light will be much softer and there will be less of a chance of any shadows falling upon the face of your model. If you can't avoid shooting in the afternoon than try to find a shady spot to photograph in, the light will be softer here and no shadows from the sun. Below is an image I took when I had to shoot midday, but found some nice shade under a tree to shoot in.
2. Be creative when you use your enviorment as props or backgrounds in your photos. Taking a portrait in front of a field or forest can be pretty, but everyone does that (myself included.) Try to really look for a way to make your portrait stand out. If you see a cool plant or some awesome flowers work those into your portrait. Maybe there's some weird rock formations around where you are shooting that would make a unique backdrop for your photo! Be creative and always look at your enviorment from every angle. Here are some I've shot where I used different bushes and a fence as really cool props and backgrounds to give my portraits a little something extra.
3. Lastly, I'd like to cover weather. Different kinds of weather can really affect how your photos will turn out. Bright sunshiney days might seem to be the best time to shoot in, but I've found that overcast days are the best times to shoot. As discussed earlier a lot of sun can cause shadows to fall on your subject's face, but with an overcadt day the light will be diffused and great for portraits. Another one of my favorite times to shoot is right after it rains. Colors are more vibrant and sometimes mist or fog will form which will make for a great moody backdrop to a portrait. If your camera isn't waterproof always remember to bring something to protect your camera if you are shooting in rain or a wet enviorment. I've used a tripod and an umbrella to shoot in the rain and used clear bags to put over my camera when I shoot in a misty enviorment so no moisture gets into the body of the camera.
Thanks for taking the time to checkout my article and any feedback would be awesome if this post was helpful at all!
What You'll Need
After you get your location, model, and camera setup you're ready to start trying to catch a great hair flip shot. I always start out by having my model face away from the camera because you want them to turn fast towards the camera so you can catch the motion of their hair as they turn. I always tell my models to pick the expression they want to have in the photo and try to keep that expression as they turn fast towards the camera. Have your model keep their shoulders locked and their arms and hands locked into a position that doesn't have them flailing all around. Try to find an arm pose before hand so your model doesn't have to try and figure one out on the spot because this will make getting the perfect photo a lot easier. In the photo below I have my model hold flowers with her forward facing arm locked in an upright position holding the flowers and her other arm at her side so it doesn't take away from the photo at all.
Once you have your model's facial expression and body position it's time to shoot. If you are just starting out then you'll want to use the Continous Shooting mode on your camera. Start shooting a second before you have your model turn and flip their hair so you have enough time to capture the photo. Then just have your model turn towards the camera flipping their hair! After you get the hang of it you'll be able to shoot the photo without haveing the continous shooting mode on. It's just a process of trial and error, just keep shooting till you finally figure out a method that gets's you that perfect hair flip shot!
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As a photographer my favorite season to shoot in is Fall. The weather is perfect for outdoor portrait sessions and the amazing autumn color palette you get to work with in your photos. So I thought I would share a VSCO Cam formula you can use on your photos to give them a nice Fall look.
First load the image you would like to edit into VSCO CAM.
Find a preset you feel looks Fall-ish to you. I'll be using F1 because it really makes the oranges in the pumpkin cookies pop and those are the main focus in my photo.
After choosing your filter click into the editing features and select the Highlight tab. Boost that up to +6.
Next, find the Saturation tab and take that down to -1 to help tone down the colors we increased in the Highlights tab.
Next find the Fade tab and take that up to +9.
Head over to the Tint tab and increase that to +3.
In the Temp. tab inrease this to +1 to warm up other colors in the photo.
Find the Shadows Tint tab and set it to Red. Then go into the Shadows Red tab and take it down to +5.
Finally, find the Highlights Tint tab and click Cream. Then go into the Highlights Cream tab and set it to +4.
And there you have a nice little Fall edit for all your Fall photos. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and come find me on Instagram to see some of my Fall photos, @moreboom7.
Have a great day!