One of the thing a lot of photographers struggle with is portraits. You might be thinking, “how is that possible, you’re a photographer, shouldn’t that be your bread and butter?” Well it should. But with the number of semi-pros and photo enthusiasts out there it’s not really all that surprising that portraits have taken a back seat to photojournalism. And that’s fine, but portraits are still important and they don’t need to be daunting. I’ve watched too many photogs try to control every little part of the photo, down to the tiniest detail. While that’s admirable, on a wedding day it’s going to slow you down.
So our advice – and it’s advice we remind ourselves to follow – is to keep it simple. It’s so easy to complicate photography, especially as you grow more confident and collect more equipment. You can start thinking well I know this technique and I have this new toy. It can get you away from what you enjoy doing and that’s taking photos that look natural and capture the person you are shooting in a genuine way. So there are two set of photos in this series, one of Michael and one of Lauren.
I did Michael’s photos. We weren’t rushed for time really, but where we were doing his photos was kind of dark and the backgrounds weren’t something that I loved. But there was a window. A window can give you options every single time. So in this case, I simply put Michael in front of the window and we chatted about the day while I grabbed some shots. Simple as that. As far as the technique, I shot on manual and underexposed by at least a stop. That let me concentrate on the light falling on his face and let everything else in the room fall away. It’s one of my favorite ways to shoot because you can really isolate the person you are shooting and get rid of any clutter. In the end, they have a really classic look. I made them black and white to add to that feeling.
Bob shot Lauren’s images. These were done while she was still getting ready in the bedroom. Yes, that’s not all that uncommon, especially if you are looking to save a little time. Think about it. She’s already there, the light is usually decent. From there, it’s minor adjustments. So Bob snapped away as she was finishing up. He made minor adjustments to put her in nice positions for photos. Just like that a series of portraits are done that are very relaxed, beautiful and didn’t take a ton of time.