Like most people, the end of the year is about lists. A list of things like goals that I have for the year, things I need to change or photos I love. Well I thought I would bow to peer pressure and create a list of 12 portraits that I love and had fun creating this year. Now don’t fret, if your session did not appear that doesn’t mean I didn’t like any of the images or enjoy creating it. I just didn’t want to have a list that would go on and on and bore all 5 of my readers. The reason I chose these images is that I tried something different, it came out great and now I use the set up as part of my other sessions. So here are my favorite 12 portraits in no specific order.
My nephew. Besides being my nephew and good looking, this pose turned out perfect for him. He looks strong and confident looking into the camera lens. I used paramount lighting which I hadn’t been able to do well until I bought a boom light stand. The paramount lighting is dramatic because his face and upper portion is lit creating dramatic shadows that helps him blend slightly into the background. And making this image black and white just adds to the drama.
The next one is my son looking down on the city. The Crow is a character that he wanted to create and be photographed as. A lot of the solitary hero’s seeming to be ones that always perch themselves above the city to look down on it. I wanted to create that with Colin, but I wasn’t 100% that I was going to convincingly pull it off. I first photographed Colin on a bench and lit him in a with a light that would look as if it came from the street. Then I photographed the city scene a few days later. With the two image I combined them into one. I chose a blue, cold look because he is looking down at the city with some contempt and revenge for those who wronged him. After creating this image, I became motivated to create more cosplay like portraits.
Colin and Rose. I had never felt that I had posed couples well but with Colin and Rose I really had an easy and great time creating these. I hate to admit but when it comes to posing, I feel I don’t do this well. Rose and Colin agreed to work with me which opened some new posing ideas to me. There were so many images that I really liked, but this portrait of the two of them was my favorite. A simple pose that has symmetry as well as conveying emotion to the viewer. The bonus of this session it that I was able to work in a park that I had never considered until then. The park has great light at this time as well as spots to use.
Rose. Not only is she pretty, but she is a great model to work with. Again, I struggle to pose people, but Rose posed herself opening the possibilities that I could use with the next person I work with. Not only is this a great pose but I felt that the lighting looks so natural even though I had to use an off-camera flash. With that kind of success, I gain confidence to off camera flash into my kit for outdoor portrait sessions.
Morgan. I have always wanted to created portraits with a dancer since photographing my first dancing session. This time I got to do this with Morgan and as you can see, we did this outside in nature where, typically, you don’t see. In this spot I wanted to create a portrait that emulates a painting, something you would see in a Rembrandt or Degas and I feel I pulled it off with the lighting, color and the softness of the background. I think this spot would also look great with family and pets, don’t you think?
Jack. My first encounter with Jack is when he was 5 and now here, he is, a senior in high school. I really liked all of his portraits but this one grabbed me. Not only is his pose and expression fit him perfectly but the lighting and his placement on the door works so well. I have used this door before but I finally feel I have discovered the best setup for this particular spot which excites me and want to create this again.
Myles and Anna. I was dreading photographing at this park because it is so popular, but it is a popular place because it is so beautiful. We got a lot of great portraits with bright yellows and oranges of the fall colors, but I wanted to create some drama portraits that didn’t have color. That is when we went down to the beach and used the light and dark of the trees across the river. With the combination of flash and rim lighting of the sun I feel I have created this soft dramatic painted like portrait.
Girl in Blue Dress. I have always loved the Rembrandt light because it has drama built into it. Most of the time when you set up this lighting situation, your subject blends completely or almost blend into the background. The hard part of this lighting is when you try to do this outside a studio an in a person’s home. This particular setting, I had the room to create this portrait and with her expression, background, and dress, it all came together and made an excellent image. Here sister’s portrait created with the same lighting came out just as good.
John and Family. John is, was a coworker and an all-around good guy. I don’t pose families well but with his group, I got a great group of portraits. This one was done in a wooded area using off camera flash that I believe has a natural light feel to it. Of all the technical aspects of this image, the grouping I am happiest with.
Little Girl. I always love the soft expression over the great big smile that everyone expects. I created this portrait session of a good friend’s daughter. We started out with simple poses and big smiles but before I ended the session, I set up a pose with a soft expression and out of all the images, this was picked as the best by everyone.
Stella. I have a lot of great images of Stella but this one is my favorite of them all. Just the fact I caught her in mid motion catching her tug. It is motion and energy caught in one image which you don’t always get to see.
Triskaideka. I love to photograph this cat. He is expressive and know what I am looking for, and most of all, he is willing to have his photo taken. Not many cats put up with me taking their photos but Triskaideka really enjoys it. I love his expression and the light I caught in this portrait. This image is also my first time I used my new toy, a Nikon D750. All the rest of my images were created with an older Nikon D80 but because it is so old that if it breaks that is it, it is a brick. Now with the new toy I don’t have to worry about renting a camera for a portrait session, I have the D750 for my main camera and the D80 as a backup.
By now you have noticed I don’t have 12 portraits but 13, the last is a bonus portrait I am compelled to add.
My parents. I created this portrait of my parents on their 60th Wedding Anniversary. That is 60 years of life’s ups and down along with three kids. They were loving and supportive of all that we did and gave all that we needed. My parents are why I am who I am and the values I have, without their love and guidance, who knows where I would be.
It was a great 2018 and I am looking forward to 2019, there are a lot of changes and goals I have made for the new year. One is for this site to hold only my landscape and photographic art while another site will be for my portrait work. I will continue to work on my style of portrait while challenging myself in