Studio | Final Portraits

It took me a few attempts to get a successful roll of film shot of Vicki. I managed to get a slot of time to photograph her in and it was a very sunny day which would have been ideal for the style of photograph I was going for. However, I didn’t realise that the Mamiya 645 I was using needed to be wound on after every shot which meant that when I got that roll of film developed it was blank which was very frustrating. Luckily I managed to get hold of her again and shot these photos, these were all of the ones that were not double exposed.

I scanned all of these in using an Epson flat bed scanner which means that the focus on some of them is out. For my final prints I’ll scan them in properly using the Hasselblad scanner so that they’re of a higher quality.

studio001I’m pretty happy with this portrait, even from this lower quality scan I’m able to see that the focus is on her eyes and they look sharp. I also quite like that the background is not too busy and that the flowers and the colour of her sweater work well together. It is a shame that it was quite a cloudy day when I shot these compared to how it was on the day of my first attempt because I think that would have made quite a big difference to the way the photos turned and would have fitted in better with the style I was aiming for.

studio003I wanted to get this shot specifically because it included the split stable style doors which I thought looked as though they could definitely be included in Country Living magazine. I also wanted to show the beams in the roof for the same reason. I think that the bottom section of this photo is too bright and I’m not sure if that lighting is very flattering. I think that I could crop some of the bottom of the image out because I find it a bit too distracting.

studio006I think that this image is one of the ones that fits best with the style I was aiming for because it includes both the subject and some context into her lifestyle. I like that she looks genuinely happy too and not just posing for the camera. Out of all the images I think that this one would work best as the opening image in an article because there is quite a bit of negative space above her head where a title could be placed.

studio007This portrait is in a similar style to the first, however I prefer this one, I think that her facial expression is more relaxed.  Again I deliberately placed her in front of the blossoming tree because this is the kind of portrait style I observed in Country Living magazine.

studio023I’m not sure about this portrait because I don’t find it very interesting, the lighting is quite flat and I’m not sure if it’s completely in focus, however that may have been down to the scan. I only did the one full length portrait because I found they were much more difficult to focus and didn’t fit the style I was aiming for very well.

studio024Again, I think that the lighting in this photo is flat, however that is the kind of thing that can be improved in post production. The reflections of the trees in the lake is a nice element of the image.

studio027I really like the lighting in this portrait, I find that the natural window light and the wood in the kitchen combine together to make a nice natural looking photograph. I also like that the leaves outside of the window are visible because they emphasise the country side location.  This image could potentially work as a double page spread in a magazine because the guttering could fall down the middle without distorting any important parts of the photograph.

studio026I don’t think that the lighting was as successful in this attempt because the subject is more in the shadow. As a result of this the window and the view outside of it are slightly over exposed. I also prefer the angle that I took the last portrait from, I was leaning closer into the window which meant that there were parts of the window that were out of focus in the foreground which I think is effective.

studio029The positioning of the subject in this photo could have been better, I think it almost looks as though she is about to walk out of the shot. However this could potentially work as an opening image/double page spread in a magazine layout because the title could be placed on the left hand side of the page where there isn’t a lot of distractions and then the subject of the right hand side could lead onto the next page.

studio030I particularly like Vicki’s expression in this photo, she doesn’t seem to be forcing a smile or looking straight face, she just has a natural look on her face. I took inspiration from a photo I saw in Country Living for this image, because I like how her posture, leaning up against the fence with her garden behind her, shows her in her work environment, where she runs her successful businesses whilst also raising her family.

If I had the opportunity to return and re shoot these portraits I would shoot several more rolls of film so that I had a wider selection of pictures to choose from. That way I could also take the same photo multiple times, changing small details about it each time, such as the subjects facial expression, the framing, how close I was to the subject etc. It would also have been able to shoot in different days so that I could have a range of different lighting. I’m happy with how my use of natural light turned out, however in some of the photos it does all look a bit flat, so it would have been good to have experimented with flash too.


Sitter’s attitude

When I approached Vicki to ask if I could take her portrait she was very willing so long as I could work around her timetable and she made an effort to fit in time slots where I could come and work. When I arrived on location she was interested in what I was doing and again very willing to pose where and how I asked her to. However, she did keep mentioning how ‘un – photogenic’ she was and I found could be quite awkward and stiff looking while she was posing which didn’t work very well with the ‘natural’ more candid style I was going for. The more time I spent with her the more relaxed it became, especially as I became more confident in telling Vicki where to stand etc. I also found it was easier on my second shoot with her than the first.


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