"So, clearly you're perfecting your food shots, what about those portrait shots you said you were going to work on?" -Viv
I got called to the table yesterday by my blogger friend Viv (The Eclectic Life). She was spot on, and reminded me of a big gaping hole in my talents as a wannabe photographer. I mentioned long ago that I really need to work on my "people shots." Every time I try to take a picture of a human being, something goes terribly wrong. Although, I think I had at least one success in my picture of Kayla and Sherrife in this post.
But Viv's right. I haven't been working on it. In fact, I've been avoiding practice at all costs. Why is it so hard? Why is it that the beautiful lily or this "tiger fly" (below) is so easy for me to photograph? Nature and food are such willing subjects. They don't pose, they don't primp, they just are and they know that is enough for them when in front of a camera.
So how does one capture a human on camera without them posing and primping? And how do I snap shots without worrying I won't do them justice or will make them uncomfortable? The people in my life are so beautiful and for some reason I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to describe that beauty in an eloquent photograph.
So, I'm asking for tips. Thankfully I'm surrounded by amazing photographers here in blogland, and each of you can impart some nugget of wisdom.
How do you take good pictures of people?
What keeps the subject feeling comfortable and natural instead of staged?
I'm sorry i can't help you with your questions but these photos are very pretty!ReplyDelete
I'd love to figure that out too! I would want a person to feel natural and comfortable so perhaps talking to him or her/putting on fun music would put the subject at ease.ReplyDelete
Chic 'n Cheap Living
i'm hoping to take better portrait shots, too, and that the class i just started taking (Photo 101 of Nicole's Classes http://nicolesclasses.blogspot.com/) helps. can't wait to see your tips & new photos!ReplyDelete
I'm all about natural light. When I post food shots it's always at a certain time of the day....near a window or outside on the patio.ReplyDelete
Wish I could help ya. I'm still trying to figure this out. I learned though that when I'm feeling good, my pictures usually turn out perfect. Maybe it's pure coincidence but so far it's been just that. ;) Let me know if you find a good way though...ReplyDelete
so happy to find your beautiful blog. gorgeous, gorgeous photos. i am still learning how to capture humans on camera, because part of the beauty of us is our mobility, our dynamic fluidity. that can be so hard to capture on film. however, when you do capture it, nothing is more beautiful.ReplyDelete
I am no expert on photography but my favourite pics that I have taken of my family and friends are the 'unexpected' shots. People will inevitably pose when they know someone is taking a picture but when they are caught off guard, you capture a private moment, something completely unforced. Of course in reality this doesn't always work - my family gets quite irate if they know I have taken a photo without them knowing it was being taken.ReplyDelete
i'm not much a photographer, regardless of the subject, so i'll definitely be reading the suggestions you receive!ReplyDelete
I wish I knew the answer for you but I"m hardly a photographer. You take some really beautiful nature shots though!ReplyDelete
Hannah! I totally did not mean to rag on you, I promise! I have full confidence that you can photograph people well, I guess it's just a matter of whether or not you're capturing the photo of people the way you want to be capturing it. I look at photographer's portfolios all the time and get discouraged because my work looks nothing like theirs but I also 1) don't know the technical side of photograph 2) don't have a great editing program like Aperture and 3) am not willing to invest in the equipment and time it requires to improve. So with that said, I'm sure you're actually very good at taking a good portrait, but you may be more self critical than anything else. You should take the weekend to devote to shooting people and then post it here for us to see! Thoughts?ReplyDelete
I'm no photographer but I find when people aren't looking at the camera and grinning like idiots it looks more natural.ReplyDelete
I wish i had advice for you HannahReplyDelete
I'm pretty good at baby photos since i don't have to worry about the whole awkwardness as they are blissfully unaware of what i'm actually doing but grown ups in photos scare the heck out of me!
That dragonfly shot is SO beautiful :o)
unfortunately i share your problem! i so very rarely get a human shot that i am happy with. I guess it takes photographing them over and over so that they get used to it and then taking a lot of different pics. that's the best i can think of!ReplyDelete
Not able to help you with the photography unfortunately, but just wanted to say I love your blog and your pics are gorgeous. Following now! :)ReplyDelete
I am not a photographer at all, but I kind of love having really cool pictures taken of me. Sometimes it's hard not to feel dumb while having your picture taken and being set up by a photographer, but by all of the photographers that I have loved if I am having a staged shot taken the best thing they do, is to keep the conversation going. They talk to you, and laugh, and ask you about stories, so that you feel comfortable, and that way they are able to catch moments where people are acting like themselves. It seems the best way is to just practice it. Have shots in your mind that you want to take, position them, and then make them feel comfortable and talk while you are holding the camera up so they don't know quite when the picture is exactly being taken. Does this make any sense? Well, I don't know if that helps at all, but I hope so.ReplyDelete
I'm still struggling to learn how to use my DSLR camera, so I'm afraid I'm not much help in the photography department. Shooting people (with a camera!!) is definitely very challenging work. I think the hardest part is being able to make your subjects feel super relaxed and comfortable, especially if they're camera shy like me, but just keep practicing! I know we'll see some beautiful portrait photos from you over the months :-)ReplyDelete
Hannah, first of all, I must say the tiger fly and lily are great shots! Keep it up with the photos and the blog. As a photographer there are just things that you tend to be naturally or aesthetically drawn to and can more easily photograph. And your right about these objects and animals are usually not shy in front of the camera or so conscious of their "look." Posed portraits are always a bit harder for me too compared to the natural, unguarded moment.ReplyDelete
Keep shooting and shooting. It will get easier. Here are a few tips that may help. Watch the person(s) interact without your camera. Get to know their personality a bit, even if its in a very short time. You can sometimes get a pretty good first impression even within 10 minutes of meeting someone. Their actions and natural personality will come out when the camera isn't out. So "get to know their tendencies or what features you admire about them" (even the way they stand, sit, rest their arm, or convey facial expressions, whether they are energetic or laid back, etc), you will be able to recall it in your mind when you take the camera out therefore being able to give them some direction as how to pose. And its easier when you know them really well or for a long time. Or just spend time having them naturally doing whatever and when you see a moment pull the camera out. Although it is hard not to worry about doing them justice, remember you don't have to show them every photograph you take of them (like all the bad ones). People are usually their own worst critic. Sometimes out of 50 images you will only get one great photograph. Its that one that matters! It always helps to crack jokes or make an idiot of yourself too so the embarrassment or uncomfortable turns on to you instead of them. Hope this helps. If not, at least I tried. haha
No idea, but beautiful shots! Looks like you got some great advice. :-)ReplyDelete
I agree with someone else's comment about natural light. And take LOTS of shots :) Your photos here are beautiful.ReplyDelete
Good question! I find it's much easier to photograph children than adults, because they ignore the camera and just...are. For adults, it can be tricky, and people get awkward if you candidly snap photos...their natural tendency is to smile and pose. I'm really not sure, but when I lived in Amsterdam, I spent a lot of time photographing people. I would photograph them without them knowing it, whether it was at the local market or on the street. It allowed me to work on "people" photography, and made it easier when I was photographing friends and family. I wish I knew more about photography too though!!!ReplyDelete
I'm with Meghan I like the unexpected ones :)ReplyDelete
I have no idea. I bought an expensive nikon hoping that having a better camera could have helped me, but it's not working. I love taking pictures, I love photography, but I guess photography doesn't love me.ReplyDelete
I don't know a lot about photography so I'm not sure that I can give you tips but sometimes perfect isn't always as beautiful as capturing someone with all their unique imperfections which create character. Have a lovely Friday! xoReplyDelete
This post speaks to me so much! I have the same exact problem. I love snapping photos of objects (especially food), but people are a whole other story. I always try to take candid shots, but someone will always catch me before I take it and do the "pose and smile". There's nothing wrong with that, but I enjoy the action shots so much better.ReplyDelete
Thanks for posting this. I'm reading through your comments to see if I can get some advice myself!
I loved reading some tips!ReplyDelete
P.S. I am enjoying being in your neck of the woods :)
i'm absolute crap at photography but i did like these pics!ReplyDelete
Sorry. I can't answer this question. However, my husband probably could. He's wonderful at putting people at ease. He tells me people really like to be directed? It's also funny. He won't take pics without people in them!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately, I have no good advice because I am the absolute worst at taking photos :( However, I did want to let you know that these are beautiful!! xoxoReplyDelete
Yeah, i don't really have advice cause i'm in the same boat! I really need to read my camera manual and learn how to use it properly. Oh, but i have been reading the pioneer woman's photography tips lately and they're very handy!ReplyDelete
just keep clicking!!ReplyDelete
that's my answer to both those...
at first your subject may be a bit uncomfortable... but if you just keep snapping, it eventually allows for a natural shot and gets everyone smiling:)