unMonday: past & present portraits

Who wants to see some old photos of Shera??

As part of our portrait series, I’m sharing some old portraits from years ago and some photos from an engagement shoot I did a few weeks ago.  It’s sometimes hard for me to tell if my photography is progressing or changing at all, but by going through these old photos I can see that, over the years, I am definitely learning better technique.  And at the very least, I like my more recent photos more than my much older photos (you might not think so, but that’s actually a very encouraging thing for me to realize about my photography).

shera

When I was just beginning to take photography more seriously, I convinced Shera to be my model for a lot of my photo experimentation.  These early photo sessions helped me learn how to look for good lighting and flattering composition, how to help both the model and myself not feel awkward during a shoot, and how to be verbally guide the model to get different shots.  The two photos posted here are from an impromptu session we did at Discovery Park, back in January 2008.

Tip: The eyes really are the window to the soul in photography. Unless you’re trying to feature something else in particular, the composition and the focus should usually play off the eyes in a portrait. Her eyes are too close to the top edge in this photo, so this composition is an example of what NOT to do.

Shera is a lovely model and this photo is one of my personal favorites. But as a photographer, I made a composition mistake in this photo. It might feel fun while you’re taking the photo, but I’ve learned that, in general, the slanted composition is a bad idea for portraits.

kevin & renée

These next two photos are from an engagement shoot that I did for my friends Kevin and Renée.  They were so much fun to shoot with, and their genuine love for each other made it easy to capture beautiful, natural moments of them together.  They even contributed some great photo ideas of their own (the photo from a few posts ago of the two of them sitting in a tree was Renée’s idea)!  These are two of my favorites from their session:

In doing portraits over the last several years (especially when shooting couples), I’ve moved toward a more candid style. When photographing portraits of two people in love, many of the best moments that you’ll capture are the ones that they create themselves.

I hope you enjoyed this comparison!  Please share your comments, questions, or any special requests of stuff you want to see during the portrait series.  Happy unMonday!

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One comment

  1. Renée

    I so enjoy unMondays.

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