This is another shot from just around the corner from our Studio in Ramona, California. Danicka is The Barista on Sundays while the proprietor of the Coffee Stand, Bob tends to chores, Church etc. We experimented with some Off Camera Flash but without having time to tune in the lights (and not disturb their Customers) the images were not all that great. This directed us back to look at the original shots which were executed on a brilliant sunny Sunday morning. Danicka was in the shade of the Shop. The rising sun allowed us to take advantage of Natural Light. There is nothing better than not having to haul lights to location – unless, of course, one has a specific vision in mind. Setting up strobes, light modifiers, dialing in exposures is tricky and sometimes just using Natural Light (or available light) is the best and most effective solution for making a fine Portrait. We think this one is pretty awesome – 10 Minutes of shooting (Hundreds of hours of study and practice). This was shot with a Monopod mounted Nikon D7000, 70-200mm set at f2.8 to get the nice blurred background. This is our “Go-To” portrait lens. We use this for Beach Family shots, Trash The Dress, Weddings, Boudoir and even Landscape! It rocks! Now a bit about “Portrait Photography”.
There are essentially four approaches that can be taken in photographic portraiture — the constructionist, environmental, candid and creative approaches. Each approach has been used over time for different reasons be they technical, artistic or cultural. The constructionist approach is when the photographer in their portraiture constructs an idea around the portrait — happy family, romantic couple, trustworthy executive. It is the approach used in most studio and social photography. It is also used extensively in advertising and marketing when an idea has to be put across.
The environmental approach depicts the subject in their environment be that a work, leisure, social or family one. They are often shown as doing something, a teacher in a classroom, an artist in a studio, a child in a playground. With the environmental approach more is revealed about the subject. Environmental pictures can have good historical and social significance as primary sources of information.
The candid approach is where people are photographed without their knowledge going about their daily business. Whilst this approach taken by the paparazzi is criticized and frowned upon for obvious reasons, less invasive and exploitative candid photography has given the world superb and important images of people in various situations and places over the last century. The images of Parisians by Doisneau and Cartier-Bresson to name but two, demonstrate this. As with environmental photography, candid photography is important as a historical source of information about people.
The Creative Approach is where digital manipulation (and formerly darkroom manipulation) is brought to bear to produce wonderful pictures of people. It is becoming a major form of portraiture as these techniques become more widely understood and used.
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