Nanna Portrait, part 1

So we went to Williamstown. Had lunch and went out to somewhere nice to take photos. There are good photos of Nanna, but in all honesty, the photo I likes the most may not have been what my partner had in mind, but it definitely is what I believe the best photo (getting an agreement to post the photo). I took a similar one of Nanna’s boyfriend – also a great photo.

It is the best photo, in my opinion, because she is relaxed, I.e. not trying to pose or anything, the picture has the right amount of natural light and there is an interesting background that doesn’t take the attention from the subject. That highlights 3 things that went wrong with the other photos themselves (most of them, at least):

  1. Because I don’t generally do portraits, I don’t yet know how to direct and/or help the subject/model relax and act naturally. All the photos that look just as natural in the other photos were because something spontaneous happened and we all started laughing. I have GREAT laughing shots!
  2. I have never used reflectors before and even though I know that they are required to reduce the shadows on the subject’s face (or other parts of interest), it made a disconnect between the subject/model and the background. The difference in the lighting made it seem like the subject(s)/model(s) were photoshopped into some of the photos (when they weren’t).
  3. The environment/background had a lot happening. I know some photographers make a scene with a lot happening, like David LaChapelle, but he makes all share almost as much of the attention and importance as the main subject of the photo. And he knows HOW to do it well. I, on the other hand, had a beautiful harbor/marina behind me with a lot of boats/ships to see. That attracted the attention from the subject(s) to the ship. What generally saved some of the photos was the bokeh. By reducing the detail of the background with the bokeh, I was able to put more focus on the subjects. My 50mm f/1.8 did help a lot with that.

So there, lessons learned. I am hopping to do at least another couple of sessions with Nanna and in one of them, have one or more of her children with her.

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