Protrait Workshop, May 22, 2007


Workshops

We had at least 50 attendees show up with their cameras and tripods ready for an educational, hands-on evening of portrait photography.

Bob Lion and Lyle Trusty put a lot of effort into planning the evening, coordinating with the models, and setting up all the equipment. Of course, many of our members pitched in to help out.

Bob began by explaining the basics of portrait photography and the equipment that he uses. We learned about umbrellas and soft-boxes, and strobes and hot-lights. After explaining different posing techniques, he began to work at the strobe-light set-up with our first group of models, the Mondragons, and their new baby. Then, at the opposite corner of the room, Lyle had our hot-lights set up and they posed a family of five, the Harte family. Everyone was able to participate in this shoot without being hooked in to the lights. After everyone had time to photograph the first group on the strobe set-up, Dennis Goodno’s beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, posed for the remainder of the workshop.

 

For those interested in learning more and practicing their portrait photography skills, Jeff Bauer gave us a presentation on his ongoing portrait workshop. Jeff is willing to begin a new workshop with a small group of LPA members. If you’re interested in joining this group, contact Jeff Bauer or Dennis Goodno.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the activities. We learned a lot about portrait photography, and we all had plenty of opportunity to participate in the photographic session.

Thanks to Bob, Lyle, Jeff, the models, and everyone else who contributed their effort to make this a successful and enjoyable workshop.

P.S. The models received no compensation for their time, but hope to receive some images taken during the shoot. If you took some pictures that you think the models might like, please contact Bob Lion, Lyle Trusty, Dennis Goodno or John Shedrick to arrange to provide pictures to the models.

 

Portrait Workshop Notes

The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate basic posing and lighting to create a classical formal, informal, or casual portrait.  To create a timeless image, the components of the portrait should blend harmoniously and the viewer’s eye is guided to the face of the subject.  This photographic style emulates the painterly look of the old masters.  The face has a prominent glow against dark clothing/dark background, or some variation there of.

Most of our efforts will focus on head and shoulder portraits, except when a larger family is photographed.  Ideally, dark clothing with sleeves looks best.  Dark colors slenderize, and ensure the face is prominent.  When three quarter or full length portraits are taken, women should wear panty hose in a shade darker than their face.  Clothing bottoms should be darker than the tops, along with dark shoes/socks.  

In a workshop setting, we work with whatever clothing the models are wearing.     Regardless of the guidelines, some people have favorite outfits that they want to wear or have specific requirements for their portrait.  In real life portrait sessions, the final portrait may be darkened in certain areas, or from the waist down in the printing/editing process to attract the viewer’s eye to the brighter faces.    

Couples or families:  With group portraits, it is wise recommend if the clothes are laid out on a bed to visually judge how well clothes colors/styles harmonize before the sitting.  Babies take up little space in the portrait and sometimes are dressed in lighter clothes to attract the eye as the center of attention.  

Workshop format: Initially, a short explanation covering hardware and lighting principles will be covered.  Depending on which models are ready, probably a short posing and lighting demonstration for a small and medium size family will follow.  Then club members may apply what they have learned and take pictures.  After everyone has had a chance to take some photographs, the families will be done and the single models will get a chance to go through the same sequence.  

 

Suggested Guidelines:

  • Simplicity counts.
  • Wear clothes that fit.
  • Avoid drawing attention to the waist line.
  • Eye glasses should be avoided as styles change and eyes may appear distorted.
  • Trendy clothing styles become dated.
  • Avoid bare or short sleeve arms when possible.
  • Avoid tight callers.  A basic “V” neck top is best for short necks/full faces.  A turtleneck  top is best for longer necks/slender faces.
  • Avoid anything distracting in the portrait.
  • Light colored tops, bold stripes, bold patterns, as well as red/orange tend to overpower the low key portrait.

Bob Lion

 

Photos by John Shedrick and Dennis Goodno

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