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Photography for Photographers is a free blog helping you to learn all the aspects about photography from the pro photographers.

Why Having a Foreground in Your Photo Shoot Is Important

What makes a good picture be a good picture? Is it the composition? Is it the illumination? Or perhaps the subject matter? Truth is, a combination of all these and more elements can ensure that we get great looking pictures, however the most important factor on determining what makes a great picture is the emotions that it conveys and communicates.

A great tool that can help our pictures convey those emotions that we are looking for is our foreground. A great foreground will give our pictures that extra touch of emotion and will help us connect our cameras with our creative vision. Foregrounds add depth to our image and give them a whole new direction that can take our pictures to the next level. It is important, however to make sure that our foregrounds do not create chaotic or conflicting pictures as the wrong choice of foreground can virtually ruin a good shot. The same rules and benefits apply to backgrounds as well; chaotic backgrounds will give any photographer a headache as they can be extremely distracting and limit our field of depth and a picture’s angles will be affected by a poor choice of foreground or background.

It is not uncommon to see pictures where it would appear that the foregrounds were digitally added to the picture or they are only there to add elements to the pictures. This is why it is very important to learn how to use the depth of field correctly in order to have natural looking pictures that amaze our clients. Keep in mind that photographs are a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional scene, which is why it is vital for the photographer to use the correct angles to produce the perfect depth of field for his pictures.

Remember that the larger an object is, the more difficult it will be to remove that object using depth of field. When the foreground element is something simple like a picket fence then it is easy for the photographer to get the camera close enough to the subject so that the element can be visually removed using focus. However, as the objects and elements become larger and more prominent, it will be more difficult to get the desired effect. Even if the photographer did manage to blur out the element out of the picture, it would still be quite noticeable to the naked eye and virtually ruin the shot.

When picking an angle, keep in mind that you can use angles to deal and get rid of bad foregrounds. If an object cannot be visually eliminated from the picture by the photographer by playing around with the depth of field, then an angle would be the next logical step. Remember that changing the angle is not simply moving a bit to the left or the right, but can also be changed by moving the camera around the subject in any direction; whether it is up and down, tilted, looking down or whatever pleases the eye.

 

How To Get The Perfect Family Portrait

Family PortraitGoing back in the history of photography, you will notice that back when cameras started to become popular, people would not use them to photograph artsy abstract subjects or sculptures, but rather pictures of the people they knew. Taking photographs at the turn of the century was a very expensive and time consuming affair which is the reason why most people could only afford to get one good photograph of their families, and thus the family portrait was born.

Family portraits are popular amongst consumers because they are used to capture a specific time period when the family was experiencing an important event or occasion. This is why people will usually wear very fancy clothes and get their hair and make-up done. Even though photographic technology has come a long ways and a camera is available pretty much anywhere, a family portrait still signifies an important occasion for any families.

In order to get the best results possible it is important to take some considerations prior, during and after your portrait session in order to get the best results possible.

When doing a family portrait it is important to crowd people together, this will portray an image of closeness between family members and will ensure that the photo irradiates a sense of warmth and trustiness. Most photographers will take a person’s age into consideration when placing people around the studio so make sure to discuss this with your client beforehand. Another thing to watch out for is blinking, which is very common when taking photographs and the more people you have on the picture, the greater the chances are of someone accidentally blinking. Your customer won’t be too happy if it looks like someone’s not smiling or falling asleep. Finally, it might be a good idea to blur the background in order to focus our attention on the subjects once the pictures are ready to be printed.

Some of the things to avoid or to watch out for when doing family portraits should be common sense for most photographers but are still worth mentioning. Don’t forget that illumination conditions and camera settings will need to change depending on your surroundings and subjects, check your camera settings and make sure to match the image type you’re trying to capture. Never allow subjects to move or tilt their heads looking right into each other, it will look awkward and unnatural. Instead, ask your subjects to look in the same direction or to avoid tilting their heads in order to get a more natural posture.

Finally, remember to talk to your customer in order to make sure you know exactly what they’re trying to get out of their shoot, make sure you can meet their expectations and give them enough information so that they can make an educated decision on what their want for their shoot. Don’t assume that you will always inequitably know what the customer wants. Make sure to discuss all the possibilities and to prepare for a worst case scenario.

Why You Need Professional Headshots

What’s the point in having professional headshots when you own a perfect good camera that you can use to take a perfectly good shot of yourself?

Well, quite simply, they’ll look homemade and unprofessional, and will also make you look cheap!

It won’t capture you at the best angle, in the best light, and it certainly won’t be able to capture that perfect impression that exudes your personality.

These are few things that you may have to pay a professional headshot photographer (Like Peter Hurley) to do for you, because they’re skilled at how to do all these things!

Even if you own a fine digital SLR camera with a timer, you won’t be able to take a great headshot. Photos from these types of cameras can be shored on Facebook, but you cannot use them for your or your business.

You don’t have the very best and expensive lighting system that can bring out the very best in your skin tones, and even if you arrange that, you can’t evoke that kind of spontaneous laugher or glint in your eyes,

Today people prefer to do business only those they know, like and trust. Having business headshots helps people feel as if they know you even before they’ve met. A polished business headshots taken by a professional photographer can covey an image of professionalism for your company.

Past research shows that people spend more time looking at photographs on websites than on text, so it’s very important that some of these photos are of people that run the company.

Profiles on networking websites such as LinkedIn are not complete unless you add a professional photo. You need professional headshots on your LinkedIn profile. This photo should be same as the one across all social media platforms, on your site, and other platforms that represent you or your business.

You see, you don’t just pay a headshot photographer for their ability to use expensive lights and equipment, but also for their expertise in the way they position you, the things they say to evoke spontaneous, warm expressions that will make you look friendly, approachable, yet professional. Top class guys among them can also take actor headshots.

Choosing a Headshot Photographer

  • Seek recommendations- Choosing a good photographer is not easy. After all, there are so many of them to choose from. So how would you know who’s who? Once again, networking comes in handy. Ask your family and friends. Who did they use for headshots the last time? Was it a comfortable and pleasant experience? Did they get their money’s worth?
  • Do your research-You should examine their portfolio. Are they good headshots? Many photographers have their websites so you can do that right from the comforts of your home.
  • Finally, setup a meeting with the photographer. Are they trustworthy, pleasant, and focused on their work?

At this time, you’d want to agree on a date for your photo shoot. And more than likely, your headshot photographer will ask for a small deposit, which will go toward his fee.

A good headshot photographer is worth their weight in gold, and even if you’re not a business owner, if you’re on the job market, it can make a huge difference to whether people in companies pick up the phone to talk to you, or send you that email that could mean a very lucrative opportunity for you.

You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure you show yourself in your best possible way, especially when you’re likely to “meet” hundreds of people online for expanding your business or for networking. A headshot by a professional photographer is all that counts!

This article is provided by Houmaan Photography, offering professional headshots and portrait photography in Toronto.

Types of Light for your Portrait

When getting a portrait done, it is important to consider the different elements that make up the picture in order to get the best possible outcome. One of the most important elements of such pictures is lighting. Different types of lighting will give you different outcomes, so it is important that you and your photographer decide what works best for you.

Windows and Daylight
Daylight provides a unique type of light that is very soft and offers a high degree of contrast. It is very important that the light is behind you and not in front of you because the intensity of the daylight will make for some irregular photos. Direct sunlight has excellent shadow-casting properties that will benefit some people.

The quality of the lighting will be affected by factors such as the size of the window and the opacity as well. Large windows will offer a more diffused light while smaller windows may act as a small spotlight.

Photographers will usually place the subject so that the light falls lightly in front of them and not from behind, this will ensure that the subject is seen clearly and it is not too bright. Floor length windows can be covered with masking tape or old newspaper in order to have the light fall of at an angle which will focus the attention towards the subject.

Fill-in lighting
White reflectors and flood lighting are the 2 most common methods of fill-in illumination and are usually the simplest too. A large piece of white cardboard works just fine for this purpose, the aim is to reflect the light from a primary source and bounce it off the white board to the subject. If the level of illumination provided by the secondary source is brighter than the primary source then the subject will get lost, which is why it is important for the photographer to take control of his setting.

Getting the illumination right can be a tricky affair for amateur photographers, some experimentation is definitely necessary in order to get the best results possible; keep in mind that the position of the light will be on or near the axis of the camera, which makes the use of a flash perfect for such situation.

Two Windows
Getting the right lighting conditions for your portrait will be much easier if there are two windows at a different angle. The amount of light coming into the room will be larger and the photographer will have an easier time controlling the portrait elements to his liking. If the windows are on adjacent walls, one window can function as the primary source and the other can be used as a fill-in.

Backgrounds
If you’re using a background for your portrait, keep in mind that backgrounds always end up looking much darker than what they actually are. The reason for this is due to the increase of fall-out in the illumination levels as you get further from the background. Remember that shadows cast by the subject aided by a flash should not be visible on the background once the picture has been taken. If you can still see a shadow it is probably because the flash is too bright.

Shooting Outside
Shooting outside will obviously mean that the photographer will have close to zero control over the illumination, which is why using a flash might be a good idea as it might become too unpractical to carry around a white piece of cardboard in order to use as a fill-in.

Keep in mind that these guidelines are not meant to be a definitive guide and that it might always be a good idea to play around with lighting elements and illumination in order to get the best pictures.

What You Should Know About Boudoir Photography

Boudoir PhotographyBoudoir photography refers to a type of photography that is usually taken in an intimate setting and it is usually done by women as a fun gift for their partner. Boudoir photography has become increasingly popular in recent years and many couples are now buying each other boudoir sessions to spice up their love life.

The term “boudoir” comes from the French language and originally referred to a lady’s private room. The term has evolved and is now most closely associated with boudoir photography. Boudoir photography can be a lot of fun for the person involved and should not feel awkward or uncomfortable at all. Since our perception of beauty varies greatly across each person, boudoir photography subjects should be able to feel comfortable in their own skin but also comfortable around their photographer. This is why choosing the right photographer for you and doing your research will go a long ways towards getting the expected results.

Every woman is sexy in their own particular way. Feelings of unattractiveness, paranoia or fear have no place in a boudoir photography session. Ignore the size 0 models that you see every day in magazines and advertisements and learn to appreciate your body for what it is.

Make sure you pick an outfit that benefits you and makes you feel comfortable. A boudoir photography session has plenty of time that allows for outfit changes so make sure you bring at least 2-3 different outfits to the session. Speak to your photographer beforehand to get a feel of what you’re both looking to get out of the session and discuss the photography elements and how he will use them to your advantage. Keep in mind that a professional photographer should keep an open mind in order to discuss these topics if necessary.

In case you’ve decided to do your own make up make sure you pick a look that works for you. Speak to your photographer to get an idea of what your face will look like on print. If you’ve decided to get professional make up done, it might be a good idea to go to a salon or a department store make up counter to get new ideas for a look and see what a professional make-up artist recommends.

When it comes to choosing the right setting for your session, keep in mind that most studios won’t offer to get this done at their studio due to privacy concerns. The most common setting for boudoir photography are taken at home in your own personal bedroom. Some women may still decide to get their pictures taken at a studio. As always, make sure you discuss this with your photographer so that he may help you get the best pictures possible.

If you’re still feeling pretty nervous about the whole ordeal, you may consider getting a group session with your best friends. Many photographers will come to your home and gladly perform a group photo session and suggest improvements to get the best possible pictures. Some photographers will also offer couple’s session which can be extremely romantic and appealing for couples who are a bit open minded. A great recommendation for group or couples’ boudoir photography session is to rent out a hotel room for the weekend and decorate the room with candles, roses and other romantic motifs.

If you’re not fully satisfied with the way the pictures turned out, you should discuss the possibility of retouching your pictures. Most photographers nowadays use digital manipulation to improve the way their pictures look. This may be something subtle like light manipulation or removing a few blemishes here and there.

If privacy is a concern during your boudoir session, rest assured that a professional photographer will keep your pictures secured and in strict confidence; if you’re still worried it might be a good idea to discuss the privacy policy with your photographer.