Practicing portraits with the mini muse…..

The shots can and will be improved but as usual she does not disappoint. DSC_0059sm DSC_0060sm DSC_0073sm DSC_0080sm

I decided tonight I wanted to have a little play so I threw the studio up and had a mini photo shoot with my mini muse.

I don’t want the obvious smiley, happy staged stuff I just want to try to capture a personality in a very simple way so at the moment I don’t direct her much I want to let her think she is driving it (that way I get to shoot her for longer)  and to be honest the rare times she allows me to photograph her I really just go with the flow.

I am not happy with these shots to be honest.  I cocked up by changing my lens half way through and not re-setting for that and also metering for her sat down and then shooting her stood up and in a totally different position so I really did cock-up with the lighting because of that. I ended up with shadows and all sorts of things that were not right at all.

However, just doing this when you are just starting out with portraits and flash photography is the only way to learn. You take them and when you look at them your mistakes are just so very glaringly obvious.  I know that for the longest time I will get so, so many things wrong and that is the only way to eventually get things just right.

Getting things wrong is good. It really does focus you to decipher exactly why that happened.

Mistakes aside, albeit not technically good at all I do quite like these shots because they do just capture her personality totally. These portray her attitude, stubbornness, the not so sure of who she is and the half-smile that is always right there on the surface if you dig deep enough.  I personally love the one where she is looking away from the camera clutching her skirt and biting her lip and the one where she faces the camera yet she still hugs herself shows which shows her vulnerability. That for me shows the very small child who is still very present still in her almost teenage frame.

So technical aside, I can see that this may be a really good and interesting path to go down for me as a photographer and while I can easily shoot her because I know her, my challenge is can I get that from a child, or adult that I don’t know?

So, for now the portraits are very much based in a mini studio setting and very bland apart from sheer personality of my subject (I hope) until I get that technically ‘just so’ then I hope for a bit of both maybe. Then I will venture onto the next stage… as you know with me… it is always slowly, slowly get one thing right before moving onto the next stage.

My plan is that I want to re-create these shots when I have learnt much, much more about how to get everything perfect in and off camera. So here are the very first efforts and I hope that in a few months I can post some similar shots that are much improved and I can share my learning journey from today to then.

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14 thoughts on “Practicing portraits with the mini muse…..

  1. Sorry, but I do not understand your doubts. These pictures show much of the personality of this young lady. OK, in some shots you might have improve the light somewhat. Some things you could also do in postprocessing yet. But mood, posture and cutout are very well chosen in my opinion.
    But I know the problem. This is the reason why I started my 365 day project. Just to train my eye and improve my technical skills.
    By the way …. my favorite picture is actually the last photo 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 I agree that getting the essence of the personality is the most important thing and I do like that about them. I am my own worst critic and I am still learning about the lighting ect. I really want to understand it and get it right so I can start to break all the rules and try some new things. 🙂

  2. You have a fantastic model and I quite like the contemporary approach of your portrait, capturing the personality. Great shots!

    • Thank you very much 🙂 lighting wise I have a lot to learn in the small space that I have,I really did badly cock up the lighting especially on the background then cocked it up even more on trying to put it right post process lol. I know where I went wrong and will try to get it right next time. I really do love learning curves though and every time you embark on something new it is always a fantastic journey from just starting out, getting it wrong to getting it right so I am happy with what I captured in her but I know I still have lots to do, next ones will be better I hope. x

  3. Still looks good IMHO :). But you’re right, not being satisfied with something is always a good opportunity to analyze where we might have gone wrong. All hail EXIF metadata :).

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