Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Open shade

Stacy did a wonderful series on setting up your own indoor studio for taking shots.

I, Stefanie, live in sunny South Africa so I love to shoot outside.
However the sun can be very bright and cast terrible shadows so I like to shoot on my patio in what is called open shade.

I have a Nikon DSLR fitted with a 18 to 105mm zoom lens.
This means I can get close-ups with great blurred backgrounds without the children or models feeling that I am right in their faces. Back in the day that I got my first camera at the age of 13 I usually posed my shots.
Getting photos printed then was expensive so we had to choose our shots wisely.
Nothing much has changed, I still set up my shots and only take a few. My scrappy photographer friends take many more photos than I do, but with those few my goal has been reached and I am onto the next thing on my long list of things to do.

Here you can see my daughter has a wall growing from the side of her head, and a friend attached to her shoulder. She is obliviously smiling back at me. However this is still not the kind of shot I want. When I move a little more to my left...

Here I wanted to show you a little composition trick. It pleases the eye better to have them looking into the direction of greater space. I thought it would be an out take, but then I kinda liked it. So this photo is intentionally lopsided, with some creative cropping and editing out the friend's sleeve.

I got this and I really like it. Please notice the catch-lights in her eyes. Portraits without those make the eyes seem lifeless and the whole photo loses it's sparkle. Those catch-lights or twinkles are a vital part of a great portrait.
Just a little cropping needed here...

I call that her Mona Lisa smile.

These portrait type photos are the ones I reach for when I want to scrap emotion based layouts.
When I want to wax lyrical about the ways I see her changing, growing up and becoming the beautiful woman God has created her to be. When I want to point out the fabulous ways she resembles me and the feminine spin she's put on her father's genes.

Now that you have some awesome portraits you need some inspiration on using them in layouts?
I found a great post here.

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