Previously on the blog, I started the first in a three-post series about some of the tried and true ways to pose your subjects with this post on Turning the Shoulders. Universally appreciated and done extensively in portrait photography, it’s only the tip of the iceberg, and posing is just the first step in coming away with better pictures. With that in mind, we’ll be shifting gears here slightly today to talk about lighting styles in portrait work, specifically Rembrandt style lighting.
This is probably one of the most classic lighting styles in photography. The light is off-axis from your camera to about a 45 degree angle. Your subject is still front and center, posed with a slight turn of the head to one side (usually toward the light). Some all like to use a bounce card or a reflector to bring a little bit of fill on the opposite side of the face.
The result is that one side of the face is solidly lit, and the other is in shadow, or almost completely dark. It’s a dramatic effect and while considered by some to be a “dated” technique, it works for many subjects and thus is still used often in portraiture.
Now, having learned two of the secrets in posing, try combining the two – turning the shoulders and applying a Rembrandt Lighting style for some amazing effects, as shown above from a baptism shoot assignment!
Editor Note: Thanks to the folks at Sylights for their cool app (which is free), from the iTunes store – in making setup shots and diagrams, this is the bees knees!
Guest Post By Joe Farace
Boudoir or glamour photography is a genre that has its roots in the pin-up or â€œcheesecakeâ€ images of the 1940â€™s but over time has evolved into its current form where these kinds of images are created by portrait photographers for clients as gifts for their husbands or significant other. On the other hand, there is nude photography that includes fine art nudes. In between there are photographs of subjects posing in lingerie or the so-called â€œimpliedâ€ nude image where the model is naked but not nude. Deciphering the nuances sometimes means that youâ€™re dancing on the razor edge between the portrait or figure photography genres but as Jerry Seinfeld once said, â€œnot that thereâ€™s anything wrong with that.â€ A successful boudoir photograph can include most of the following elements.
Sexiness. Todayâ€™s boudoir photography focuses on the depiction of a subject with a strong emphasis on sensuality and trends today lean toward a more natural look at the same time.
Nudity: Not always. There are many ways to portray sensuality, sometime with nudity, partial nudity, or no nudity at all. Much depends on the subject and pose, including the use of â€œimplied nudity.â€
Technique: In pursuit of the ultimate boudoir image photographers use make-up along with camera and lighting techniques to produce an appealing and sometimes romanticized vision of the subject. While some photographers prefer gritty realism, put me in the idealized camp.
Sharp focus or not? Some boudoir photographers prefer crisply rendered images. While others, like me, like to add touch of softness with retouching added in the image in the digital darkroom. Itâ€™s up to you because ultimately it all comes down to the:
Subject: Having rapport with your subject helps create the uniquely collaborative effort involved in boudoir photography. She must be comfortable being photographed naked or nearly so and itâ€™s the photographerâ€™s job to make sure the subject is relaxed because it will make the session go smoothly and let both of you create the best possible boudoir images.
Joe is author of â€œJoe Faraceâ€™s Glamour Photography”. You can read more from Joe by following him on his blog at Changing the World, One Pixel at a Time.
Nothing tip-related, tutorial-esque, or educational today, just thought I’d share some photos from one of the local photo clubs I participate in regularly. One of our members is the on-staff photographer, and was able to get us permission to take photos for an entire session. We even got one of the guys to get in his gear and do some shots with us. Devin is the guys name and he totally was cool with our posing instructions and everything – this guy even kept this super heavy fire hose on his shoulder for like 30 minutes while we had him stand and pose, looking in various directions and holding his head a certain way.
So, without further ado – here’s a few samples/selects from what I am affectionately calling:
The Fire House Shoot
And to close out the series, one that struck me while there was a scene that reminded me of why we have these courageous men to serve and protect us…
The poses that Devin struck were directed courtesy of yours truly (stop back in later this week for more details on the posing techniques I used), and all post processing was done using your favorite photo editor (and mine): Adobe Lightroom!
Thanks to Tim Tonge for organizing the event, and to the brave men of Castle Rock Firehouse for tolerating our presence for an afternoon!