Capturing Authentic Portraits

Lesson 19 of 20

What's Next

 

Capturing Authentic Portraits

Lesson 19 of 20

What's Next

 

Lesson Info

What's Next

Maybe if you could give us a review of what you think was sort of, from a 10,000 foot level, what was the most successful, what didn't work perhaps for you today, that you've learned from or that you would do differently? So the challenges is a great question. When you review a photo shoot is did it go well? Sure, or have a rubric, you know like that's what they do. You have some way, a guide, and so I have Did it go well in regards to building rapport? Did it go well in regards to providing feedback and encouragement? Did my camera and lens combo work? You know, and all those things, and then light and location. So, as far as that, I would begin to think through those things for each different shoot. I think on the rapport front, I think it went pretty well, minus my Drew situation where I wasn't quite... didn't have my stuff together enough with the tether capture. So that is definitely something for me to have down in my log books. I think that with these other characters here, wi...

th Kenna I wish I would have gone deeper but at the same time we had timing and what not. So, if I were really trying to work my magic, I would be a little bit slower and I would never be breaking the connection. I would never turn my back on someone or I would never would turn to say "Now look what I'm doing" so that's something obviously I think as far as the connection and building rapport goes. The camera and lens and light in that kinda situation, I think that was for working with what we have, I think that was fine. I think that that worked well. Would I have loved to have more drama? Yes, so I would have done something where the light wasn't always so even, even just gotten a black foam core and put it here to subtract some light or have their face a little bit angled differently. I would have done more of that. When I really shoot, I'm moving a subject around a lot. So I shoot here. I shoot there. I'll go there. I'll go out that door. I would go on the street. And I would be a little more mobile than I was able to here. So that's definitely something I learned from. I think... What else would I say for this? As far as what worked well, having Drew bring in an instrument, that was awesome. I've never heard him play fiddle but that was cool. It's one thing to hear him say, "Yeah, I went to Japan and played fiddle with my family." That was actually neat. For free. For free, yeah. So integrating something in as far as wardrobe and all of those kind of things, I think, you know, working with people kinda as they are, there is nothing special or over the top. Hopefully, you guys saw that, that you don't always have to go Uber-stylish to do this kind of stuff and sometimes timeless and simple is better. And sometimes that just means really clean minds and really straight forward looks. What were my learning things? My learning stuff, it tends to happen kinda, unfortunately, after the fact. So at the end of the day I'll think, "Oh, why didn't I do that?" So, I don't know if I'm there yet. Do you have anything that you think I could have worked on? I mean, just, in all fairness. Well, I mean in all fairness, we would love to hear what people's biggest takeaways and judge are as well. I think that the ability to watch you interact while teach, it is a challenge. It is a challenge. What were some of the takeaways that you have? Ccause the trick with anything like this is there's probably 50 takeaways but you need to own at least two, I think, and say, "These are mine, these are the things." Do yo have something you want to say? Yeah. One of my biggest takeaways is I do a lot of the talking like what you were doing, interacting. And I kinda, sometimes when I'm driving home I wonder did I talk too much. Was there too much going on? Did I come off as nervous? And now I see, I'm actually setting my clients at ease and I loved watching you do it and you made it look comfortable and I saw your pace. So I think I'm going to take that away. Awesome. Yeah. Cool. Thank you for sharing that. And number two. Yes, number two. I thought the role playing when we had Kristie acting, I could have watched that all day. Like different characters. Some men. First of all, thank you for taking my picture. Because I really don't like having my picture taken as you could probably tell. But I take people's pictures for a living so I need to get in front of the camera more so that's great. And I love that you bring a film camera to slow yourself down and to give that pause and I think that that's a big takeaway for me. Great, thank you, thank you, that's a good takeaway. Anyone else have something? I appreciate that you did the role playing because the most difficult experience I had was with somebody who came in, was doing the overly dramatic modeling and she wanted to do the directing herself and it just was horrible. And I just could not make a connection. I just couldn't make any progress and she had her own ideas and I'm afraid that's all she got and I wish she had got better. Yes, yes, that's great, that's great. That reminds me of a quick story which is I did a shoot recently where I brought a family friend along to help who was a friend of the subject, so it was basically a friend of a friend was there, and she was assisting me which meant just kinda carrying some things around. And, I was directing the subject but in kind of a quiet way cause I like to watch a subject emerge a little bit, and I was so quiet that she started to direct the subject for me because she was kinda nervous, like she thought you need to say stuff, and sometimes with the people who maybe are bringing too much of a persona. It's not just that they may be too much of a model. They might be too tough or they might be too much of a leader or they might be like you know, whatever kind of an exaggerated thing is, sometimes it's just nice to let 'em let that go through their... Let them do that because they may feel the need to do that. You know, like I am one of the best track and field stars in the world and it's like okay, and then, after we've done that, do the next thing. So I had to tell that assist, "You don't need to say anything. That's my job." She had never assisted on a photo shoot before but that's something to keep in mind I think. I loved how visual it was when people let go of themselves. When you asked a question that got to their passion, their bodies change radically, subtlely and and radically. And I liked watching that moment come from the question you asked. So, that's my takeaway. Yeah, the art of questions. Great takeaway. As far as homework assignments, that's in this guide which I say brainstorm what questions you might ask. The thing that I think we tend to think is "Oh yeah, I know what to ask people." But, if it is an art form, we gotta work on it, right? And test out these questions and what you'll find is that they can get different places. Lastly with that, I talked about this idea of sometimes you want to ask questions that people want to answer. Other times it might be a question that is difficult and that's okay too. You know what I mean? Like there is that art and craft. I'm just trying to think of, I was photographing someone who really cares about the environment. And I was asking, "So what's..." And I had read the byline, he owns Patagonia, the clothing company. I know their statements. I know what they stand for. I was like Yvon, why do you care about the environment? Like I just want to hear it from you. And he got pissed and what he said was, "Well, let me tell you. "I went to this one village 10 years ago "and I was just back last week "and 50 of the kids there are blind "because they don't have access to clean drinking water. "And that's a problem to me." And I got this picture where he is like there is this strength and defiance and it's a very beautiful, beautiful frame. So I guess the reason I'm saying that with those questions I went a little more on the positive side in here but there's space for that. There's space when we need to get that. Something bad has happened to someone or difficult or sad. That's really good stuff to connect over, I think.

Class Description


It takes a true connection between photographer and subject to create powerful portrait photography. A portrait doesn’t have to be dramatic or glamorous to be compelling. In fact, the best portraits often showcase people expressing their vulnerability or discomfort. It’s the photographer’s job to evoke and capture authentic emotion by establishing a genuine rapport with the subject.

Join veteran portrait photographer Chris Orwig to learn how to take meaningful portraits and use them to make your transition from amateur to professional. In this class, you’ll learn:

  • How to confidently approach a stranger and convince them to participate in a shoot.
  • How to connect with and pose your subjects naturally
  • Which lenses, camera settings, and light considerations to keep in mind during a shoot

Chris Orwig has created images for companies like Google, Adobe, and Patagonia, and his work has been published in Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Surfer Magazine. His experience has taught him how to keep a subject comfortable, authentic and engaged throughout a shoot. He has learned to deal with the technical demands of a portrait shoot - lighting, setting, constraints of time and budget - while also staying focused on the story he is trying to tell. 

Reviews

Kat
 

Wow. This course was about so much more than "just" portraiture. Chris Orwig is a fantastic speaker and teacher - very engaging, down to earth, wonderful photo examples and live demonstrations on how to interact with the subjects you are photographing. I love that he brought in quotes and artwork and poetry, as well as some really great personal stories and experiences, to make his points. Fabulous! This man is an expert in capturing that spark in others - and you can totally see why. Really great.

Martin Backhauss
 

Amazing class and what a great AND inspiring trainer. Thank you Creativelive for giving Chris Orwig the stage. Perfect choice! Learned a lot but more importantly, I got so inspired by his presentation and that is what matters the most .....for me. Super grateful. THX CL!