Friday, April 18, 2014

Photoshoot #2 Professional Portrait (Headshot)

Here are some results of another small project that I took in order to improve my overall photography.  This time ; professional portrait/headshots.

I came do do this shoot because my colleagues were complaining that they did not have serious LinkedIn profile photos - I said that I have a good camera and lights and immediately booked a date to get it done - seized the opportunity! 

I had 1 hour to shoot 6 people of different heights and skin tone. Pretty challenging for a first project, but I'm glad I did it - I learned quite a bit about directing subjects in posing and giving them advantageous looks (especially if they aren't super models - like 99% of us). Establishing a good communication is essential.  I don't think in another circumstances (not knowing them personally) I could have done this. People are kind of clueless about how to demonstrate their best self. This is where my video production experience kicked in.  Meanwhile - you don't want to lose the technical aspects of photography of adjusting everything for the subject. But I think I managed to crack out a few decent shots giving the circumstances.

I find most "profile" portraits out there flat and without soul - they simply don't sell the person as they are. I tried to mitigate this by using my 2 umbrellas and speedlights in a way that gives a deeper look to the photos or as I call it a 3D effect - I do wish I had a rim light in order to detail the silhouette but let's avoid "gear acquisition syndrome" or GAS for now.

What I learned from this ; 

- Trick shots first? I made the mistake of going for the tricky shot first without warming up properly i.e. safe white wall shots. There are some windows that gives a great view of the city but lighting for this is complicated - especially when using shoot-through umbrellas that spills light around.  The umbrellas ended up being seen in the shot. So I had to scrap most of those. Lesson for next time - start safe go crazy AFTER (or buy some softboxes....GAS!).

Didn't work all.

- People don't necessarily dislike your photo but mostly themselves. I had a someone complaining that she didn't like the way she looks because she had big cheeks and wanted me to scrap the photo...the cheek size is mostly due to the fact that she wanted to smile in her picture and that will automatically enlarge your face. So I learned to deal with.

- Get it right in the camera will save you time in post-production. There was a case of wardrobe malfunction (see below) 

 My liquify skills are not that great so it's either photoshopping things to hell or asking the subject to fix his collar.....I think the answer is clear. Fixing this even gave the appearance of a longer neck.

I will be probably shooting a couple more of these - being a professional and having a healthy network of people, I won't be missing out of friends with that need. I kind of like it - giving confidence with my camera. It's a great thing!

Happy shooting.

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