Portraits Under Pressure

 

Portraits Under Pressure

 

Lesson Info

Wardrobe and Make-Up Best Practices

I'm gonna bring out the subjects that I'm meeting-- that I'm seeing for the first time; I've probably seen them around the building the last few days, but I don't know who I'm shooting, so I'm going to meet my subjects, and hi you guys, come on in. Welcome, welcome; welcome to Creative Live! How are you? Victoria. Arleen, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, thanks for joining us. Hi, I'm Matt. Matt, Victoria, nice to meet you. Come on in, come on into the studio. So let's-- I really appreciate you doing this. So you're both-- Am I allowed to say that you work here? Yeah, I just said. These guys both work at Creative Live and I haven't seen you around the building; I have seen you, Arleen. So, they're probably-- Somebody probably really talked you into this, so I appreciate you doing it, and I hope to-- It's going to be fun, and I'm gonna make it... A comfortable process for you, so if you're at all worried about having your portrait taken, you're in good hands. Alright, so ...

let's see our wardrobe choices. If you wanna bring those out, we can do it one at a time. Basically, I don't know the space, so this is a big question mark. But a couple key things go into my decision-making. The first thing is I'm going to ask my subject what's their favorite, because that's-- When you're wearing clothes that you like, you're comfortable, so Arleen, of all of the things that-- Oh, sorry. Matt; of all of the things you brought, what is your favorite? I think the vest is my favorite. Okay. And obviously I like blue, but I brought a red one just in case. Okay, so color tends to be-- Can read really beautifully off the page, if the output is going to be printed. On the internet, I think bright colors look great, but you can also get away with more black and white. Black in newsprint or in magazines tends to just be a lot of ink, so editors tend to shy away from something that's all black, unless of course it's the intended purpose, and it's a really contrasty black and white image. Color draws readers in. It's supposed to catch your eye, and I think it does, so as much as I like color, plaids and other types of patterns can be a little bit more difficult, so what I would suggest, is which shirt would you wear underneath the vest? I would normally wear the blue stripe, like the light blue stripe, but yeah, I don't know. Okay; I would suggest doing the solid blue. And right there, I have two options, so we could start with the vest, and if you have a portrait session with someone, and you're in an outfit, something with a vest, and a button down, and you shoot the entire shoot with the vest, when you go back, you're not gonna have a lot of variety, right? So by taking off the vest, which I will try to remember to do, we'll come away with two sets of images. That means that if he wanted this photo, you know, he's investing in you as a photographer to get some photos for himself, right? Maybe it's for a LinkedIn page, maybe it's cause you're giving a talk, you know, there's gonna be a lot of varieties and uses for this image, while for the same amount of money, and the same investment, I'm giving him two options. That essentially could have been two photoshoots. They look-- They could look like they were taken on different days. So that's the value added for them. So I think that's a good place to start. I do like what you're wearing right now. Is it what you roll around in? Yeah it's what I rolled out of bed in. So this is data for me, that he's comfortable in-- You know, he's casual, but he has a style, so I think when picking his clothes, you wanna make sure that you stay on point, and that I don't pick something that fits my style, when it doesn't necessarily fit his personality. Okay, so we'll start with that, and go from there, and here's the thing, guys; if it's not working, if they put on an outfit and it's not working, shoot it a little bit, and then say, "you know what, I'd really like to try that green blouse", but I also never say "oh, this isn't working", because first of all, that shows-- It makes the person who's there insecure about their situation and what they're doing and their decisions, but also about you, and like "does she know what she's doing?, cause I think I look great". So you definitely have to communicate these things, but do it in a very delicate way. So, alright Arleen. I love the all black. This is great. I was channeling your New York look, so. Yes, exactly. So it's-- And all black can be very chic and beautiful, so it's always an option, but again, I have editors that will say, "make sure they're not wearing black", so that's something to consider. But, I like this blouse so much, I have it in pink and red. Just really embarrassing, so. Not at all! I brought some color; I brought a scarf to go with this, and then I brought jeans and (mumbles) shirt. Oh, terrific. You know, I think we should start... I'm having a red-- Red can be-- Red is beautiful, and that's where I'm going to right now, and I think that's where we should go-- What do you guys think? I like the red. You like the red? Alright, so we'll start there. Red can also be very tricky in print. I'm sure you've tried to make prints; sometimes it's... When actually printing-- and I'm not trying to get geeky and technical, but the gamma and the red-- How much red can actually be printed is a trickier thing, so if you're the one making prints, sometimes the red can be hard if you're sending it off to somebody. Make it their problem. So definitely don't shy away from red for that reason, but it's just something to consider. So if we had-- If we were doing a portrait session and we had a lot of time, I would definitely have you start in the black, and then we'd move to red, but for this purpose, I think we'll start with the red. Now here's the other thing, guys; I don't know where we're shooting these. So if I get there and we walk in and there's a red wall, I'm gonna have her change her shirt, or it's pink-- You know, whatever. If it's not working, I'm gonna have to take that into consideration. Obviously, sometimes people don't have a change of clothes with them, and shoots in my circumstances, and so if I walk in and I set up a shoot over here, and they walk in and it's a red on red, well sometimes that could be very cool to try, sometimes they'll look like a floating head, you never know, and sometimes I have to abandon that situation and go over here, because we don't have a change of clothes, so it's really about thinking on the fly, and just trying to take all the pieces that you have and put them together to make the best possible shoot. So alright. We'll start with this. I'll see you later, thank you!

Class Description


You need more than just great lighting and equipment to create an exceptional portrait. Sometimes a shoot doesn’t go as planned. The location is drab, the client isn’t in the best mood, or you forget to charge your camera batteries. Great portrait photographers are able to think on their feet and connect with their subjects. 

Victoria Will’s background as a photojournalist and celebrity photographer has helped her to develop techniques on editorial assignments to quickly connect with a subject. She’ll show you how to use your environment to capture a unique image that reflects the person in the portrait. She’ll also highlight how to quickly evaluate a less than perfect situation and make it work for you and your subject. 

You’ll learn:
  • Techniques for choosing the light, process and locations for a successful portrait
  • How to build a rapport and utilize clear communication with your subjects
  • How to set up a developed concept as well as how to light on the fly 
  • Successful strategies for marketing yourself as a photographer and how to get your work in front of editors
You’ll watch Victoria photograph real people in limited settings and how to scout multiple opportunities in a limited space. She’ll go through how to make every frame count and how to get the shots the editor requested, as well as those that speak to your vision in the moment. Learn how to make your subject feel comfortable in only a few moments while capturing exquisite images in Portraits Under Pressure.