Review a portrait sequence

6 Nov

The subject of this exercise is to do a portrait session, a formal one, in a consistent setting and framing.

Johan, my model, and I decided that we wanted to do a shoot at the local concrete factory that lies in the harbour area of Luleå. To help you orientate I have taken a picture of parts of the place.

We were most of the time with the graffiti as a background but Johan was eager to change place and pose.

We started of in the direct sunlight but giving too hard sunlight made Johan squint so we decided to get into the shade. To get some light into his face Johan suggested to have just the nose getting light but we abandoned that rapidly but there were some usable pictures we took, with him crossing the arms in front of his chest, looking into the sunlight and the sum of pose and light, looking into the light was a nice outcome.

The post with hands on his hips just did not fit to Johan and in combination with the light we went a step back into the shade. Just standing there was nt a good alternative so I asked Johan to lean against the wall and we tested several combinations of looking away or into the camera for the eyes and the head.

We thereafter changed background but again the just standing there again was no good. It looked as if Johan did not know what to do with his hands. The next step was to have the hands in his trouser pockets but the light was not satisfactory so I asked Johan to step closer to the wall to get some light reflected from there onto his face. He also changed pose to bow forward a little in the hips and lower back. That was better but did not fit to what I wanted to have from the pictures.

Thereafter I asked Johan to stand in front of the metal door, that in combination with the walls on both sides created a nice frame for him to stand in. He chose his favourite leg to stand on and had hands in his pockets. That was close to what i wanted to get but before we could get on he had “run” and wanted a sequence of him going on the dock with the city in the background. After that I asked him to go into his corner again and after some cleaning of bushes we continued shooting again were we had stopped earlier. I did some finetuning of his pose with having him leaning the head a little to the left and that gave a very nice picture of him.

We did not test different facial expressions as the picture shows him as he is. A well educated, serious but happy and open person. Different poses with his arms, like crossing in front of his chest or having them on his hips did not fit into the “theme” of the picture.

After this sequence I wanted to show him as an industrial magnate, posing in front of his factory. I therefore lay down to make him via the angle bigger and have the factory in the background. He looked in the camera but that did not match what I wanted to show. He had his hands in the pockets, giving him reassurance. Looking out towards the sea He then looked as if he was prepared to any challenges that might come. Finally a little closer framing and different position of arms but that did not give any new aspect to the pictures.

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