A topic that requires so much work, but then none at all.
Posed or Candid
Same kid, but so many differences in these two portraits. One is candid and one is posed/directed.
The first is set outdoors in the shade but with that beautiful summer sun behind. Finley knew I had a camera, but wasn’t sure what was going on with it. He just wanted the smoothie popsicle in my hand. The second photograph (taken years later) is set indoors with the light/window to one side and a plain white backdrop or wall. He was directed on where to stand and I had to get him to smile.
There are a few basics too remember when you are trying to get that perfect portrait.
- Find the light (light is everything in photography – see week 9)
- Make a connection (its all about the eyes, or is it?)
- Composition (centered? Rule of thirds? setting matters too!)
Tips for candid portraits ::
- The subject’s setting matters. In a candid photograph the setting is usually part of the story being told in the photograph. Having a camera, yes even a smart phone, ready at all times is key to candid portraits.
- Compose the subject in a mathematically pleasing way. Composition will be a future topic! Making sure your subject is directly in the center is a good start 🙂 Turn on the grid on your smart phone or camera!
- Eye contact isn’t necessary but its a bonus if it happens so WAIT FOR IT! So much of candid photography is anticipation and waiting for the perfect moment to happen and being ready to snap the moment with your camera.
- Make sure you have good light. You can move. Walk around until you see half of the subject’s face lit up with light. Shadows are interesting but not on the entire face. See last week’s topic on Exposure here.
Tips on posing portraits ::
- Setting matters in all photographs. Make sure to choose a background that makes sense to your subject OR a plain background that doesn’t distract. Have this set before photographing your subject.
- Again, compose the subject in a mathematically pleasing way. Composition will be a future topic! Making sure your subject is directly in the center is a good start 🙂 See our previous topic on FRAMING!
- Eye contact is nice. I like to set the scene first before trying to get eye contact from my subject. Then, find a way to hold your subject’s attention so they don’t have a blank stare. Interact with them!
- Lighting is important here too. See last week’s topic on Exposure. This should be so much easier than candid because you will set this up before hand and place your subject in the right lighting.
What is the #EsterCobe52?
#EsterCobe52 is a FREE photography challenge where we learn just a bit about how to take better photographs each week from these blog posts then share an image inspired by the topic of the week to social media with the hashtag #EsterCobe52 – want to see the previous #EsterCobe52 topics? Look below!
- EsterCobe 52 Week 1 :: Phoneography Tips & Tricks with Molly B of Ester Cobe Photography // The Photojournalistic Black + White Photograph
- EsterCobe52 Week 2 // Documenting Dad :: Tips and Tricks on how to capture dad with the kids by Molly B of Ester Cobe Photography
- EsterCobe52 Week 3 // Ideas, Tips and Tricks on Documenting Water
- EsterCobe52 Week 4 // Negative Space in Photography Tips and tricks
- EsterCobe52 Week 5 // Fourth of July!
- EsterCobe52 Week 6 // Document your days
- EsterCobe52 Week 7 // Framing
- EsterCobe52 Week 8 // Documenting Love
- EsterCobe52 Week 9 // Exposure Triangle
- EsterCobe52 Week 10 // Portraits