Your friend just got engaged, your parents are celebrating a big anniversary, or your sister is looking for a special gift for her beau on Valentine’s Day? Grab your camera because romantic portraits are a great way to improve your skills (and to create a special image for people close to you).
Zooming in for a close-up is the perfect start to a couple’s photo shoot for one important reason: this is your chance to look at the light and how it hits their faces. Look for bright spots, hard shadows, and flattering angles. Note that too much light can be as much of a problem as too little, casting hard shadows and making people squint. You may want to shoot in a shady area, or later in the day, so the light is gentler.
It seems like it’s a golden rule of photography, and for good reason. The camera’s light meter looks at the amount of light in all parts of the frame, and chooses the best average exposure. If you have a person surrounded by a very bright area, the person will be underexposed if you keep your camera on ‘Auto’.
Backlighting can be a beautiful effect, however, especially with portraits. The bright light from behind gives a romantic glow around your subject, and if you can get your exposure right, this technique produces lovely portraits.
Image 1: This backlit portrait has a beautiful edging of light, while the face is still properly exposed. The effect is light and romantic, and extremely flattering.
By Angela Ford, photo blogger
When I was growing up, family portraits were done in a studio, excessively posed, and often terribly unflattering. There is a portrait of my sisters and me that was taken after I got an unfortunate perm, and it is prominently on display in the entrance of my parents’ home. If I were a braver woman, I would share it with you. READ MORE
Last month, I interviewed photographer Martin Chung who gave me a valuable piece of advice. He commented that it is easy to tell how tall an amateur is because the photos are all taken from the same angle—standing with the camera to the eye. He moves around—up, down, to the side—to get different perspectives.
On a beautiful evening in New York City, I took this advice for a test drive. I left my camera at the end of the strap—about hip-height—and articulated the screen so I could see what I was shooting.
This series of photos was taken at High Line Park, a former elevated train track that has been converted into a unique urban green space.
The two-foot distance from eye to hip makes a huge difference in perspective. On this walk, I found it easier to capture the contrast between green park and urban sights.
With the camera at railing-height, I could capture lovely greenery in the foreground, which is a nice contrast with the bold billboard.
My assignment this month is ‘wedding photography’, and I must confess I find it hard to take good wedding pictures when I’m either crying or balancing a glass and plate of food. So I turned to a pro to help demystify the process: Martin Chung is an award-winning Vancouver photographer who has a special eye for weddings.
I expected he would give me some tips and tricks, but instead, I got a fascinating peek into the creative process, the philosophy of wedding photography, and the importance of documenting the details.
Award-winning photographer, Martin Chung, has taken some stunning images. I selected a few that really stood out, and Martin told me how he created the look.
Martin was shooting a wedding at Vancouver’s busy Granville Island. To capture the bustle of the location, he took a photo with a long exposure and asked the couple to remain very still. The result is stunning: motion blur from the people walking by, which draws the eye directly to the couple.
Professional photography studios carefully control their lighting using a few basic principles. With a little planning and some strategic purchases, you can quickly set up your own home studio and take gorgeous portraits of your loved ones.
Studio Lighting Basics
When you look beyond the high tech equipment, a professional photography studio is simply a space with well-controlled lighting. Each lighting element has a specific purpose.