Recently, I was asked to take photographs at the induction ceremony for our High School Athletic Hall of Fame. I agreed, and I was reasonably happy with how I did. I realized that my photography skills, especially in the portrait area, have improved dramatically since I started focusing on this a couple of years ago. Some of what I have learned seems obvious in retrospect. Find a place with decent light (harder than you might think in a hotel ballroom).
I was lucky there was an atrium and that the event was early enough that I got some decent light. I was glad I didn't have to experiment with reflectors and external light.
I tried for a consistent background without too much clutter (again difficult in the shooting environment). Tried to be aware of glare on the plaques.
And spent enough time with each person to get them to relax and achieve a reasonably natural expression. On the whole, not too bad.
But, I have a lot to learn! My friend and fellow coast side photographer Betty Ruppel just took the baseball team portraits, including this awesome shots featuring two of my son's teammates.
I love so much about this photograph - the lighting, the expressions, the mood. She took it outdoors at dusk, with an external light, and she tweaked it on the computer. I want to learn how to do that!
But, I guess photography is like any other art form. Practice. Study. Practice some more. Here's a couple of interesting links that I have found lately, which are also helpful.
On posing women in portraits.
On learning to see the light.
And just added - tips on posing men in portraits.
These three are from the great website Digital Photography School. I'm always interested in my photography pointers. Got any to share?