Studio Workshop- Portraiture Techniques

A basic tutorial was presented to demonstrate the range of techniques used in portrait photography. The techniques vary but can be classified into three main categories;

Category one was situational control:

  • as the photographer I am in control
  • be firm and direct clients and models
  • be tactile, don’t be afraid of touching, and positioning
  • pre-visualise an image in my head of how I want the shoot to look
  • closely observe the subject and the light, look at shadows and features

Category two is lighting control;

  • facing the light creates more shape and texture
  • specific lighting techniques include Rembrandt, Clamshell, Rim Light and Backlight.
  • up close light creates harder shadows and light further away creates softer shadows
  • light sources to one side will create a broad and narrow side of the face
  • narrow side of the face is seen as more aesthetically pleasing

Category three is subject and environmental control:

  • make use of space
  • keep distance from background to avoid conflict
  • everything in the image is equally as important
  • remember the background is as important as the subject

These are the main foundation techniques used in studio portrait photography but many others exist and are used. It is my intention to apply all of these methods when creating my work, and to discover and learn as many new techniques as possible in my future studies.

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