Thursday, August 1, 2013


Shot indoors. Window light used as sidelight. A silver reflector was held by the subject
in his hand. 1/80 sec; 5.6 aperture; 300 mm FL; ISO-200; 70-300 lens.
I enjoy taking 'people pictures', more so when they are not looking into the camera. There is something magical about candid photos. I try and bring the element of 'candidness' in my so-called studio-portrait shots. Of course you have to have the subject looking into the camera at least in a few frames. 

There are few things I do before shooting portraits.

1. Know something about the person. Their likes and dislikes. What music they listen to; are they an extrovert or an introvert....the kind of work they do etc. This will help you to understand how much of the envelope you can push; the kind of expressions you can get from the subject and that which will suit the subject.... For example the gentleman in this picture is a huge fan of metal music; he has an image of a rough and tough kinda guy. Soft lighting, mellow expressions etc are not for him :) He agrees too :)
2. You also need to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the end product. This is important for you. This will help you decide the clothes, accessories, background and other paraphernalia that goes into setting the mood of the pic.

1/80 sec, f5, 190mm FL, 200 ISO, 70-300 lens. Shot indoors. Window light as
 side  light with  a reflector on the other.
3. The night before the shoot I usually draw a broad outline of where I am going to shoot, the lighting, poses etc.
 4. Planning the lighting is important. Natural, strobes or is it going to be just reflectors. In this shoot all I used was a single reflector and that too not in all the frames. Some pics were shot outdoors. The sun was covered by fluffy clouds -naturally diffusing the light.
5. Keep the person engaged while shooting. I am not the overtly chatty kind. But I do have a conversation with the subject. If I feel the person is not showing any nerves and would rather prefer silence then I cut down on my conversation and let the person be. You won't believe, how many people would like to be left alone and not have the photographer indulge in a constant stream of jibber-jabber.
6. I try and explain to the person, wherever possible, what I am doing. Make them a part of the process. Again, play it  by the ear. If the person is not interested in knowing, you don't have to tell.
Finally, I like to have a few laughs and lots of fun when I am shooting. 

Shot outdoors. Cloudy skies. But the light was a beautiful diffused light.
 1/15 sec,; f5; 149mm FL, ISO100, 70-300 mm lens. No flash. 

Blog Archive