Sienna, a natural model
Sienna Carver, potentially a model in the making. Having access to a willing and ‘interested’ model is a blessing for a photographer. Modelling is hard work and can take long hours in sometimes difficult environments. However, Sienna didn’t care what the weather was like or the tasks I gave her, she just got on with it. Should you have access to willing models and you are learning portrait photography, I urge you to use your resources. Whether it be a child or adult, it doesn’t matter just have fun with your model and see where it takes you. The great thing with children is that they tend to have less insecurities than adults and not so conscious of there image. This body confidence frees up time and allows a smooth creative process. Find a good model and stick with them!
Composition, what does it mean: ‘the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up’. Composition is all about angles, thirds, halves etc. good portrait photography is not just about the subject, but also the surroundings. The surroundings can make an image, after all the model is a part of the surrounding and the props. Look out for key locations or areas of interest, then think about your model.
Attention to detail
Attention to detail is important, what stands out in the picture? One of the most important areas to focus on in portraiture are the eyes, the eyes are the windows to our soul. Think about it, when you are talking to someone face to face, what area of the face do you likely focus on? That’s correct the ‘eyes’, get the eyes in focus and everything else will fall into place. In the image above, Sienna’s eyes were paramount to me, however, her freckles and the tiny bit of light shining on her left eye is what caught my attention.
Prime, prime, prime, I am not talking about Optimus Prime from Transformers, but prime as in lens. Prime lenses are lenses that have no zoom, they are a set focal rate, the particular lens I used in these images was a Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art. The advantage with prime lenses is they tend to be much sharper than zoom, as there are less mechanical parts. Prime lenses do however, make you work harder you have to move around more, think about your locations and distance. This extra work will make you a better photographer and you will hopefully see the results. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic zoom lenses available, but they can cost considerably more money due to their technicalities. The Sigma lens has a big aperture of F1.4, which allows in more light (may not need a flash) and beautiful creamy bokeh (Japanese for blur).