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Thread: How to take more life and attractive portraits

  1. #1
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    Default How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Hi all,

    I need help and tips on how to actually take better portraits that have more life (bring the model out of the photo) in them rather than just a photo.

    Currently my equipments are D90 + Tamron 28-75 + 50 1.8 + 60 F2.8. + tumax flash.

    I need more information like what settings you all usually use?
    What equipments do u all usually bring for outdoor shooting?

    Hope to hear from you all soon!

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    There are no magical figures.

    As the name implies, photography is capturing of light. And you need good light to produce good results. You will have a better idea after you read up some portrait shoot books from the libraries...
    Michael Lim
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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by zozanthonyzoz View Post
    Hi all,

    I need help and tips on how to actually take better portraits that have more life (bring the model out of the photo) in them rather than just a photo.

    Currently my equipments are D90 + Tamron 28-75 + 50 1.8 + 60 F2.8. + tumax flash.

    I need more information like what settings you all usually use?
    What equipments do u all usually bring for outdoor shooting?

    Hope to hear from you all soon!
    There are no magic settings. Lighting conditions change according to weather, location, time of day, position of model, position of the camera, angle of camera. You need to learn how to control your camera so you know what settings to use and how to tweak those settings to adapt to lighting conditions at that specific moment in time.

    You need to know your basics. Then shoot and shoot and practice until you get there. There is no short cut.

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by zozanthonyzoz View Post
    Hi all,

    I need help and tips on how to actually take better portraits that have more life (bring the model out of the photo) in them rather than just a photo.

    Currently my equipments are D90 + Tamron 28-75 + 50 1.8 + 60 F2.8. + tumax flash.

    I need more information like what settings you all usually use?
    What equipments do u all usually bring for outdoor shooting?

    Hope to hear from you all soon!
    more life on portrait?
    no camera can do that, no setting can do that,
    is about how a photographer engaging his subject.
    noting to do with camera or setting.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Override2Zion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    There are no magical figures.
    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    There are no magic settings....You need to know your basics. Then shoot and shoot and practice until you get there. There is no short cut.
    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    no camera can do that, no setting can do that, is about how a photographer engaging his subject. noting to do with camera or setting.

    . There are no magic settings and no one can teach you where to anchor your viewpoint, you just have to find out yourself through practise. Besides a lot of photos you see here are not just the results of pose, shoot and upload. Many go through software post processing, levels adjustment, colour adjustment, sharpening, etc. Many aspects that contribute to a beautiful photo.

    Some general rules that most observe,
    1) Eyes - Eyes are the window to the soul. Sharp eyes with catchlights is what you would want.
    2) Good DOF control - You don't want it too shallow or too deep. You don't want just the eyes to be sharp with the nose and ears blurred. Sometimes you want enough just to seperate the subject from the background.
    3) Metering - Learn to use the meter and also learn the basics of exposing the image properly, its a fundamental
    4) Composition - Learn the basics on how to compose an image to form a pleasing image
    Last edited by Override2Zion; 22nd October 2010 at 04:23 PM.
    Nikon D200/D700/D800 User :)
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  6. #6
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Override2Zion View Post
    . There are no magic settings and no one can teach you where to anchor your viewpoint, you just have to find out yourself through practise. Besides a lot of photos you see here are not just the results of pose, shoot and upload. Many go through software post processing, levels adjustment, colour adjustment, sharpening, etc. Many aspects that contribute to a beautiful photo.

    Some general rules that most observe,
    1) Eyes - Eyes are the window to the soul. Sharp eyes with catchlights is what you would want.
    2) Good DOF control - You don't want it too shallow or too deep. You don't want just the eyes to be sharp with the nose and ears blurred. Sometimes you want enough just to seperate the subject from the background.
    3) Metering - Learn to use the meter and also learn the basics of exposing the image properly, its a fundamental
    4) Composition - Learn the basics on how to compose an image to form a pleasing image
    Good pointers.

    Add one more... Knowing how to place the subject, and telling the model/subject how to pose. Very very important.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    telling the model/subject how to pose.
    unless the model is pro or experienced enough without the need for you to tell them how to pose, just tell them what style you looking at, they will pose accordingly, u only concentrate shooting.

    by the way act cute in photos are not considering posing to most of us here.
    Last edited by sinned79; 22nd October 2010 at 04:43 PM.

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    Senior Member oceanpriest's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Find more life and attractive model

  9. #9
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    unless the model is pro or experienced enough without the need for you to tell them how to pose, just tell them what style you looking at, they will pose accordingly, u only concentrate shooting.

    by the way act cute in photos are not considering posing to most of us here.
    That is not what I meant.

    Depending on focal lengths used, sometimes need to tell model how to pose to avoid distortions of body parts. Photographer have to instruct the model no matter how experienced he/she is.

  10. #10
    Senior Member digitalpimp's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Get a copy of Digital SLR Photography magazine's The Essential Guide To Portraits. Very nice contents from front to back. It tackles intro to portraits, different lighting set-ups, retouching techniques, equipments, etc. I think it'll help you understand better. It's out this month for only $10.50. Got mine at 7-Eleven.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Override2Zion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    That is not what I meant.

    Depending on focal lengths used, sometimes need to tell model how to pose to avoid distortions of body parts. Photographer have to instruct the model no matter how experienced he/she is.
    I agree with this point, however experience a model may be, the photographer is still the one looking through the viewfinder in real-time and will know whats going to end up in the final image
    Nikon D200/D700/D800 User :)
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  12. #12
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    That is not what I meant.

    Depending on focal lengths used, sometimes need to tell model how to pose to avoid distortions of body parts. Photographer have to instruct the model no matter how experienced he/she is.
    i am looking another way.

    if there is distortion in that angle, u can change angles (cos you dun have to stay there stationary and dun move) unless worst come to worst that's the best angle and still got distortion then only u ask the model to change the pose a little. So the "ask to pose" instruction is kept at the very minimum level.

    what i meant was, u dun have to ask the model (a pro and/or experienced) to pose constantly through out the whole shoot as opposed to a newbie model who needs your guidance through out how to pose to show her best angles.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Override2Zion View Post
    I agree with this point, however experience a model may be, the photographer is still the one looking through the viewfinder in real-time and will know whats going to end up in the final image
    true, but as the photographer, u also had to move your butt and not expect the model to give you the pose and angles.

    an experienced model can give u the pose you have in mind (of cos u got to tell her beforehand, eg smile not smile, look cool or relax etc)

    angle wise, as the photographer, you should be in control, switch and move around (up down left right) instead of asking the model to change pose/angle to suit you then u stand there dun move.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    what i meant was, u dun have to ask the model (a pro and/or experienced) to pose constantly through out the whole shoot as opposed to a newbie model who needs your guidance through out how to pose to show her best angles.

    Even most pro/experience model who know their best angles and strive great poses may not always know how your shot would turn out. And often or not, most need guidance and direction to how to fine-tune their body posture and expression.

    Having an experience model and MUA without a doubt would help with the photoshoot greatly, however at the end of the day it's the photographer (or Art/Creative Director) to set the overall direction of the shoot.

    Personally to me if the final photo go terrible wrongly then the fault mainly fall on photographer (who often is the directors/DI artist/ light master) of the shoot. And not the model.... Cause often it's the photographer choice to take up the shoot or not...

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    unless the model is pro or experienced enough without the need for you to tell them how to pose, just tell them what style you looking at, they will pose accordingly, u only concentrate shooting.

    by the way act cute in photos are not considering posing to most of us here.
    Bro Sinned can elaborate act cute in photos? I've seen many xmm pics in clubsnap but i dont think any of them are act cute pics. They are posed professionally, at least TRY to pose professionally, unless its a candid shot. To me, act cute pics are done in candids with friends/self portraits with handphone, etc...

    Can you post an example of "act cute in photos?" Presumably from one of the clubsnap galleries here.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by zozanthonyzoz View Post
    Hi all,

    I need help and tips on how to actually take better portraits that have more life (bring the model out of the photo) in them rather than just a photo.

    Currently my equipments are D90 + Tamron 28-75 + 50 1.8 + 60 F2.8. + tumax flash.

    I need more information like what settings you all usually use?
    What equipments do u all usually bring for outdoor shooting?

    Hope to hear from you all soon!
    Does the D90 have the video mode. If it has then that will bring your subject to live. (joking).

    Live of a portrait can be found in your subject's eyes. Focus and light your subject's eyes and capture the moment when your subject eyes are alive.
    Last edited by jopel; 22nd October 2010 at 07:43 PM.

  17. #17
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    i am looking another way.

    if there is distortion in that angle, u can change angles (cos you dun have to stay there stationary and dun move) unless worst come to worst that's the best angle and still got distortion then only u ask the model to change the pose a little. So the "ask to pose" instruction is kept at the very minimum level.

    what i meant was, u dun have to ask the model (a pro and/or experienced) to pose constantly through out the whole shoot as opposed to a newbie model who needs your guidance through out how to pose to show her best angles.
    Changing angles do not solve most distortion problems if limbs placement are wrong.

    You cannot depend on the model to go automatic mode. The photographer have to do most of the direction. The experience of the model comes in when the photographer ask the model to do something, the model will know exactly what, and get it right immediately.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Changing angles do not solve most distortion problems if limbs placement are wrong.

    You cannot depend on the model to go automatic mode. The photographer have to do most of the direction. The experience of the model comes in when the photographer ask the model to do something, the model will know exactly what, and get it right immediately.
    Agreed...

  19. #19
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by hotchoco1ate View Post

    Can you post an example of "act cute in photos?" Presumably from one of the clubsnap galleries here.
    u can ask night86mare.

    i give you one example, boxing one self.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How to take more life and attractive portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by zozanthonyzoz View Post
    Hi all,

    I need help and tips on how to actually take better portraits that have more life (bring the model out of the photo) in them rather than just a photo.

    Currently my equipments are D90 + Tamron 28-75 + 50 1.8 + 60 F2.8. + tumax flash.

    I need more information like what settings you all usually use?
    What equipments do u all usually bring for outdoor shooting?

    Hope to hear from you all soon!
    More life can only be achieved with better chemistry between you and your model. Communicate your artistic view to your model, get them to adjust their pose to suit you, and make them comfortable enough to express themselves freely, changing it, if and when needed.

    Post processing also helps a little, equipment also a little but chemistry is the most.

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