Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fostering connections through portraiture

I love one-on-one personal portraits because there is something so simple and intimate that occurs between the subject and the photographer in these sessions. I like to take my time and give few posing instructions and let the subject and our interaction really create the mood of their photos, and I try to really encourage the confidence of the people I am shooting. No matter what age, the interaction between me and the subject is key and the subtle reactions of the subjects to my words, facial expressions, and encouragement makes a dramatic difference in the overall result of the shoot. In some cases our interaction is minimal when I use a 400mm telephoto lens to capture portraits it really creates distance that allows for an interesting dynamic. When necessary it requires an assistant in between that can be a posing coach and encourager. There is just something magical about the crushing affect and the zero distortion created from a telephoto lens that is both flattering and isolating.

Both Lianne and Candice have been amazing subjects for me growing into my portraiture work and this is the second time I have been able to take their portraits together. The last time was more of a tribute to their friendship, and this time was much more focused on them as individuals. I will post a prequel of their friendship session to my Flickr after this blog series on portraiture. I love these ladies, and I am forever grateful to them for being such great models for me to work with. I love how their different skin tones, colors, and personalities create a unique look for each even when shot at the same place and virtually the same time. These pictures were taken in Walhala, South Carolina, right before summer time with Spring in full affect. They were taken in the middle of the day either in shade, cloud-diffused sunlight, or posed to create an even shadow over their face. Any direct sunlight with the exception of one shot was kept away from their faces and no reflectors or strobes were used. These photos represent a complete portrait session with two locations and changing wardrobes.

I used both a Canon 85mm F/1.2 and a Canon 400mm F/2.8 for all of these shots, can you tell which ones were taken with which lens? Both lenses are a complete dream to work with. The 400mm is not completely necessary for portraiture but I continue to be impressed by the photos that this lens is capable of capturing. For the post-processing, I was experimenting with a new product for me, Apple's Aperture 3, and finalizing most of the work in Adobe Photoshop, a program that I have been using over the past 7 years, and it seems that they keep obsoleting all of my skillsets that I develop over time. With each new generation, Adobe has been saving me more and more time by creating easier and more powerful ways to do things; I have no complaints about this progress. I love it. I really hope you enjoy looking at my work and would consider allowing me to work with you to capture your personal portraits!


Martha said...

Wow! These are awesome!!!!

Schmara said...

You really are a good photog Toby and you have great subjects.

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