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Thread: need help with learning portrait

  1. #1

    Default need help with learning portrait

    hi, just wondering...

    what are the etiquette (dos/don'ts) of taking a portrait of a stranger (i.e. on the streets)?
    (example, but not limited to, how to ask permission, how to make them behave naturally, etc)

    i wanna learn to shoot portraits, but buying a new lens is not an option right now (budget), and currently using 18-70mm, so need to do old-skool style of "get closer"

    i know there are sites out there that are helpful, i did take a look, but i want to know your personal experiences and tips, esp for Spore scene..

    thanks so much in advance!
    cheers!
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  2. #2
    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Approach with a smile, ask nicely, and I'm sure they'll oblige.

    But make sure you keep your sinister smiles behind closed doors only. Also, notice that local XMMs may run away instead. As some mentioned, don't shoot those XMMs at Bugis area! Don't know particularly why, but ... heck, give it a try! You might be handsome enough to be like Jay Chou, I'm sure they'll oblige

    Cheers!
    A picture a day keeps the blues away!

  3. #3

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by dingaroo View Post
    Approach with a smile, ask nicely, and I'm sure they'll oblige.

    But make sure you keep your sinister smiles behind closed doors only. Also, notice that local XMMs may run away instead. As some mentioned, don't shoot those XMMs at Bugis area! Don't know particularly why, but ... heck, give it a try! You might be handsome enough to be like Jay Chou, I'm sure they'll oblige

    Cheers!
    One thing i scared bout taking photos of strangers is kena whack
    Last edited by sheaffey; 10th May 2010 at 02:45 AM.
    No photographer is as good as the simplest camera

  4. #4

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by dingaroo View Post
    Approach with a smile, ask nicely, and I'm sure they'll oblige.

    But make sure you keep your sinister smiles behind closed doors only. Also, notice that local XMMs may run away instead. As some mentioned, don't shoot those XMMs at Bugis area! Don't know particularly why, but ... heck, give it a try! You might be handsome enough to be like Jay Chou, I'm sure they'll oblige

    Cheers!
    what is XMM? is it same as XDD? I'm not a local, so dun really know the local terms
    thanks for the advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by sheaffey View Post
    One thing i scared bout taking photos of strangers is kena whack
    hehe, this is my biggest concern, too!this is why i asked for advice and help from you all! but if (touch wood) that happens, i think that's gonna be one helluvan experience!
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  5. #5
    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Well, make sure you approach those that are menacing looking of course!

    XMM - xiao mei mei - sweet pretty young things
    XDD - xiao di di - handsome guai young thugs?

    LOL!
    A picture a day keeps the blues away!

  6. #6

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by dingaroo View Post
    Well, make sure you approach those that are menacing looking of course!

    XMM - xiao mei mei - sweet pretty young things
    XDD - xiao di di - handsome guai young thugs?

    LOL!
    oh,, so like pretty girls and the gangsta kind? hahaha!

    oh, ya, i realise that one disadvantage of asking permission is that the person becomes "camera conscious" and may not be natural..any tips to overcome this?

    thanks a lot!
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  7. #7

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    you can take a search for dannysantos' thread and blog.

    he does a lot of what you are asking about, and he's written about it too. hope this helps.

  8. #8

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Don't ask permission first. Take their picture first when they are natural. Then show them the pic and ask permission to keep it

  9. #9

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    you can take a search for dannysantos' thread and blog.

    he does a lot of what you are asking about, and he's written about it too. hope this helps.
    Thanks a lot, night86mare! will take a look at his threads!

    Quote Originally Posted by wandollar View Post
    Don't ask permission first. Take their picture first when they are natural. Then show them the pic and ask permission to keep it
    Hehe! nice! maybe that will work too! thanks!
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  10. #10
    Member voxies09's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    and dont post their pic online without their consent or they can sue you... and go po kai
    Canon Kiss X4 | 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II Kit lens | 50mm f1.8

  11. #11
    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    join those organized shoots for models ... like model shoot
    A picture a day keeps the blues away!

  12. #12

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by voxies09 View Post
    and dont post their pic online without their consent or they can sue you... and go po kai
    erm, they can't sue. Unless the photo is used for a commerical or if it's an obscene photo like an upskirt or downblouse.

  13. #13

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by voxies09 View Post
    and dont post their pic online without their consent or they can sue you... and go po kai
    Quote Originally Posted by nedy77 View Post
    erm, they can't sue. Unless the photo is used for a commerical or if it's an obscene photo like an upskirt or downblouse.
    no, won't take such kind of pictures..
    but really they won't sue? but probably i will only post it here for CnC...haha!

    Quote Originally Posted by dingaroo View Post
    join those organized shoots for models ... like model shoot
    it is very2 intimidating to do photo shoots like this!
    also, i want to capture the natural human emotions around, that is why i am confused about the "legal" way to do it here...
    but, hey, thanks a lot for the advice, maybe i will join these in the future, when i am not as noob as this anymore!
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  14. #14
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by bayusuputra View Post
    it is very2 intimidating to do photo shoots like this!
    also, i want to capture the natural human emotions around, that is why i am confused about the "legal" way to do it here...
    but, hey, thanks a lot for the advice, maybe i will join these in the future, when i am not as noob as this anymore!
    Why would it be intimidating to do a photo shoot??! The models are there for you to shoot as much as you want within the time slot allocated. When you are doing a candid shot of someone on the street, you only have one or two takes at most to get it right. When doing a paid shoot, you can play around with your settings and learn all you can during that time about your camera and lens and any other equipment you'd be using. You also won't have to worry about shooting the xmm and worry about them thinking the wrong thing about you (well, at least not that way, but hey, who cares - you paid for the shoot!)

    I am not asking you to do a photoshoot but just wondering why you would find it intimidating.

  15. #15

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Why would it be intimidating to do a photo shoot??! The models are there for you to shoot as much as you want within the time slot allocated. When you are doing a candid shot of someone on the street, you only have one or two takes at most to get it right. When doing a paid shoot, you can play around with your settings and learn all you can during that time about your camera and lens and any other equipment you'd be using. You also won't have to worry about shooting the xmm and worry about them thinking the wrong thing about you (well, at least not that way, but hey, who cares - you paid for the shoot!)

    I am not asking you to do a photoshoot but just wondering why you would find it intimidating.
    actually, the models are not the intimidating ones, it is the rest of the photographers...
    although you might say that i can get help from them, but still it is intimidating to me...some more, i pay for it, so i would have the mindset that i have to make it a good one...
    haha! maybe it is just my mindset, but i will surely give it a try once i have the courage and a bit more skill...
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  16. #16
    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Then join in on those outings organised by other CS members where they shoot anything under the sun, moon, bridge, etc. That way, you start off with inanimate objects first, then proceed on to portraits ...

    Hey, why is it called a portraiture? Because there's a person in it? Replace the person in the picture with say ... a building. Now it's called architectural photography. Replace the building with a dingaroo? What do you get? Dingaroophy! LOL!
    A picture a day keeps the blues away!

  17. #17

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by dingaroo View Post
    Then join in on those outings organised by other CS members where they shoot anything under the sun, moon, bridge, etc. That way, you start off with inanimate objects first, then proceed on to portraits ...

    Hey, why is it called a portraiture? Because there's a person in it? Replace the person in the picture with say ... a building. Now it's called architectural photography. Replace the building with a dingaroo? What do you get? Dingaroophy! LOL!
    the thing is that i am not comfortable yet shooting with other photographers...
    i don't know why...if i shoot the model myself alone, i think that would be ok (but expensive to start with), but like i said, i will definitely try this once my confidence build up! i also want to shoot pretty girls!

    actually i am interested in architectural photography as well
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  18. #18

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    If you are uncomfortable or shy even to join a organized outing or paid shoot, tendency you will not have the courage to ask or take photo of strangers on the road,
    where you will faced w/ many possible outcome.. including being scolded or whacked
    Last edited by horizon_grazer; 12th May 2010 at 04:04 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by horizon_grazer View Post
    If you are uncomfortable or shy even to join a organized outing or paid shoot, tendency you will not have the courage to ask or take photo of strangers on the road,
    where you will faced w/ many possible outcome.. including being scolded or whacked
    umm, that may not be the same...actually, i have asked people in my home country to pose for me several times (but no more than 6 or 7)...but, i personally do not know how to approach locals here...there are different customs here, right? nonetheless, thanks for the reminder! sometimes, the tendency does happen to me!

    the thing that make me intimidated in doing a photo shoot right now is because i am not pro like the other,..and most of the people there are rather way more experienced than me...
    i don't know...quite hard to express what i mean by that...

    maybe if there is an outing for newbies with exp instructors i would be keen to join?
    less intimidating..

    also, maybe some of the reader here could share their exp shooting street photograph?
    actually, why i am so interested in this is because i go walk about very often with my gf, but can't really go to scenic places, mostly the CBD or shopping area...and sometimes there are people who sport eccentric clothing, etc etc...
    - troubled undergrad -
    Olympus XA/Canon QL17 GIII flickr

  20. #20
    Member voxies09's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with learning portrait

    i wont dear to take other girls picture when i was walking with my wife... better take wife/friend/gf/family as your model
    Canon Kiss X4 | 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II Kit lens | 50mm f1.8

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