In this page I'll share some photography tips with you.
If you have any question, please feel free to contact me.
In this chapter we will talk about taking photos outdoors.
If you don’t have a studio yet, the outdoors is a fantastic place to start.
In every country the weather is different so it’s important to know what works best in your
city, for example, when I lived in Israel, the sun is very strong and if I wanted to take my clients for an outdoor photo session, it had to be early morning or shortly before sunset.
Now I live in Manchester where the weather is very unpredictable; it can be nice all day, or it can be cloudy and suddenly start raining,
So what do I do?
We plan a day and on the day we check the weather. If it’s nice we go ahead but if the weather isn’t photography friendly we either go to the studio or reschedule for a different day.
The ideal weather would be when it’s not too hot or too cold.
The sun should be shining from the side, which means either towards the beginning or the end of the day. When the sun is in the middle of the sky we get very harsh shadows on our models faces.
But if we can find a place with shade it can be a solution if we don’t have a choice to wait for later in the day.
The sun should always be behind the model. This will create a beautiful backlight behind the model.
When the sun is shining on the model’s face it will create unwanted shadows as well as being very uncomfortable for the model.
Take 2 photos,
1 when the sun is on the model’s face
2 when the sun is behind the model,
Can you see the difference?
What to do if there is no sun, when the clouds are hiding the sun?
Usually it will make a very soft light whichever way your model is facing but many times you can still see a difference when assuming where the sun’s location is and placing your model behind this ‘hiding sun’.
There are two kinds of pictures:
When the photo is about the person – a portrait.
When we want to remember something, an experience.
Let me explain:
When it’s all about the person, it doesn’t matter so much where we take the photo, we can take the photo on a busy road, on in an unphotogenic location and so on…what is important for us is the person and we have to make sure that the background is nice, clean and doesn’t distract us from the main subject.
When the photo is about the place, for example, you are on holiday and you are visiting a interesting place, there is a guide tour that is saying an interesting story about a famous building, you want to have a photo in this location to remember the place, to remember the experience, to look back at the photos and to remember your trip.
In this case it’s about the place, and about YOU remembering and going back to the experience. In this case we just take the best pictures we can, we aren’t going to wait for the sun to be on the right position. We can’t control the background; maybe there are many people there?
If you look at a picture of Eiffel Tower, for example, in a book or a magazine, we just see the picture, but if it is a picture we took when we went there on holiday, especially if we are in the picture, then it brings back our nice memories,
the experience of a nice trip and the time we spend with family and friend will all come back to us and it feels like we are experiencing the trip again,
So it’s important always to ask ourselves, what do I want to achieve in the photo I’m taking now?
Is it about the person? Make sure the background, sun and lighting all need to be correct so we can take the best portrait of the person.
Is it about the place, the memory, the experience? Think how to take the photo so the background and the people we want in the picture look the best in this environment.
Now let’s practice photos that focus on the person:
After we know where the sun should be, we have to think about the background. This should always be clean and not distracting.
Have a look at these 2 photos and see how a clear background makes such a big difference.
Take 2 photos
1 when the background is busy /messy
1 when the background is clean
PROPS THAT HELP US
When we tell our model just to stand and smile it can be boring and just looks like a passport photo.
We want to ‘help’ our model to pose, so the portrait looks more interesting.
What can we do?
For this we have props that will help us.
First we will talk outdoors. It’s very easy to find props outside, especially if you go to a park, but also on the street.
What you have to look for is something that your model can put his/her hands on in a nice way. Have a look of the examples of these photos, how a random ‘prop’ can take our photo to the next level.
Now your task will be to take a ‘boring’ photo and also to look for props around you and ask your model to put their hands or lean on.
But remember the sun and the background as well…yes, so many things need to go through the photographers mind before clicking on the camera to take a photo...
But don’t you worry; the more photos you take, the more experience you get.
What I see very often with my students in my Photography Workshop is two things that I want you to avoid.
Too much background so the model disappears in the picture. Ask yourself, do you really need all this background? If yes, that’s great, if not, zoom in to your model. Also try to take a portrait photo and not landscape, ie, hold your camera sideways to get a picture where the person takes up most of the space – without empty spaces at the sides.
Taking the photo too far away from the model. It’s always better to stand nearer as opposed to using your zoom. You have to keep a balance in the distance between you and your model. Not too far and not to close. Don’t worry! Once again, with practice you will get it right.
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