Portraiture Photography


Wolfgang

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This is an open letter to everyon here in Clubsnap who are interested in portraiture photography...

The only reason i posted this is because i'm disturbed by the fact that how many people have agreed to assist in being PAs for the model shoots i am doing, and only for them to pull up last minute when he was informed that the model was a male... well, thankfully, a replacement has been found...

Anyway, the singular fact that one is interested in portraiture photogarphy only because it's an opportinuty to be in the vicinity of a "pretty" model pretty much sums it all up abt what kind of a person he is.

And of course, the other reason i wrote this is because a few PMs have been recieved, asking me if i would conduct lessons on potraits if they paid for models and such and honestly, i do not think i am qualified to teach, but i am willing to share what i've learnt so far.. so i replied, in the affirmative but i do wonder why there is a need to get paid models.. a young child, another fellow photogarpher, or any other subject would do. Getting a paid pretty face just to shoot is a sad excuse if you say working with a professional model will help.

Portraiture doesn't mean shooting the members of the opposite gender and taking the chance to ogle. Portraiture is about capturing the spirit and the nuances of that person. The character must come through...

Everyone seems to believe shooting a pretty female model would definately work and the picture would be a keeper. But on what level? A pretty face is easy to shoot, granted. but what would differentiate your shot from others? Poses? Outfits? Concept? Lighting? Everyone can take a snap shot of a pretty face but the hard work comes in communicating with the subject, scouting out locations for shoots, arranging logistics and transport for the make up artist and hair stylist, consulting them on the different looks... Now, can one tell me how this entire process differentiates from a paid shoot?

In fact, i wager i would have barely skimmed the surface, in regards to the full logistics and arrangements that are often required for a full day shoot...

So at the end of the day, if you think doing a shoot for a "model" is what you want, then by all means, go for it, but don't bother engaging a model just to shoot. It won't help you improve as a photogarpher, much less become a better person...

Do note that i am not disuading anyone from attending or participating in a paid shoot but what i am trying to highlight is the intention of the participant.
 

agape01

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I want to echo Wolfgang's thoughts on this.

I have been on model shoots both studio and outdoor. This is what I find to be a important factor and that is to build a relationship with your subject.

I like one of the winners in the World Press Photo Competiton 2003. There was an African teenager who posed like a model, but is suffering from the AIDs virus. As she is in the later stages of the virus, you can clearly see the skin and bones to know that she's going to die sooner or later.

Now, that is a compelling shot to me and the person who took it must had great difficulty in selecting how the light should fall on the subject as well as many other technical details that we as amateur photographers would not begin to understand.
 

Cool_VIR

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I'm very interested in portraiture photography but got no chance to learn.

I've always ask my gf to pose for me but she she keep telling she doesn't know how to...?

I've read books and articles saying we got to make the model comfortable in posing so that it lokk natural.

Maybe i should attach to 1 of you members as PA and understand more about portraiture photography.
 

kim

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Originally posted by Cool_VIR
I've always ask my gf to pose for me but she she keep telling she doesn't know how to...?
I truely agreed with you........ :thumbsup: No matter how much I try, dangled sweet and carrot in front of her, she just wont post for me... ...:confused: :dunno:
 

horizoner

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Personally .. i feel that taking portrait pics for old ppl r much more challenging than pretty faces/pro models. Seen those pic which revealed the wrinkles on their face .. the "bo gay" gum etc .. very interesting. Perhaps can find these kind of "models" in Chinatown area? Free perhaps! :)
 

lavenderlilz

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Originally posted by Poledra
WHO is that?

Wow...........

:bigeyes:
heh - so he's YOUR type eh? :wink:

Not bad, if I may say so mah-self...
 

Zplus

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Well said, wolfgang!
:thumbsup:

Potrait photography includes any human in any setting... not necessarily a pretty female or a handsome man. It could be anyone but tells a little story on its own. Perhaps an expression that personifies the person.

I think the kind of pictures that usually associates with "pretty" women is more like "glamour" photography which I guess is a subset of potrait photography in a sense...
;)

Interesting thread... hahaha!

Btw, hope your shoot went well!
 

Wolfgang

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As SniperD has examplified, a portrait shot of a male subject can come across well too...

But as Zplus has mentioned, there is also this "subset" known as glamour photography and well, once again, since it is a subset of portraiture (i'm using the term loosely), i would think that mastering the basics (which i have not, and which will also take a long long time) would be a hard enough task.

Don't we all need to start from scratch or the beginning or do you think that by paying for model shoots to capture beautiful woman would mean a sure/easy path to success or is the key to taking good portraiture?

Start with children and babies.. sleeping babies don't move alot and with slow shutter speed, you can shoot with no flash. Explore different angles. Or shoot children... alot of children are not camera shy and are quite game in posing.

So, why use the reason that "i must pay for a 'professional' model because she knows how to pose and therefore i will improve faster as a portrait photographer?"

You lose out in the end because you do not know how to get a model to pose if she is new, or have no idea how to pose next. Then you will be at a loss... and if you seem lost, the model's confidence will eode and then you will see the result of your delusions.

;p
 

Zplus

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Yup, most good potraits are of people off the streets and kids oblivious to your presence unabashedly doing their thing...
:thumbsup:

You lose out in the end because you do not know how to get a model to pose if she is new, or have no idea how to pose next. Then you will be at a loss... and if you seem lost, the model's confidence will eode and then you will see the result of your delusions.
Agree, important fact... then you would most likely blow your $$ away on an expansive lesson....
;p
 

Poledra

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Originally posted by lavenderlilz
heh - so he's YOUR type eh? :wink:

Not bad, if I may say so mah-self...
He will be my type if he's as sensitive as you-know-who.

;)

But you-know-who has that boyish charm.. *sigh* This one doesn't.
 

lavenderlilz

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Originally posted by Poledra
He will be my type if he's as sensitive as you-know-who.

;)

But you-know-who has that boyish charm.. *sigh* This one doesn't.
wah u say u know who - just like "him whose name must not be mentioned" lol
 

Larry

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oy ladies... pls cease your codetalk for men... otherwise we men will start our code talk for ladies... :devil:
 

Poledra

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Originally posted by lavenderlilz
wah u say u know who - just like "him whose name must not be mentioned" lol
Well, not many people know who 'you-know-who' is. So he's sounding like he's some Voldermort. ;)
And, ya, I don't think I'll ever get attached again.

But, Uncle Larry's asking me to shut up, so I will.
Uncle Larry, I'm not really speaking in code. 'You-know-who' is just a subsitute for a name. *poke*