This is the first tutorial of four that is going to focus on portraiture. We are going to use two fill cards to create a different kind of portrait lighting. The first card will be used to create a light I’ve named a “scoop” because it scoops up the rays of a light from a flash head behind the background and throws it over the top of the background to light our subject’s hair. The second fill card is going to be used to create a type of lighting called a beauty light. It’s called a beauty light because the position of the lights and the fill card we will be using will minimize both vertical and horizontal wrinkles and other imperfections on our subject’s face.
This tutorial also will be a short rant directed at all the computer, and software designers who want to force the words portrait and landscape into our brains to replace the words vertical and horizontal. While it’s condescending of them to think we can’t understand the words vertical and horizontal, an even more detrimental side effect is the fact that portrait poses meant to be shown on a computer screen or in a video might be better if they are composed in a horizontal format to better fit their intended use. No matter what anyone tries to tell you, all portraits do not have to be framed as verticals, and all landscapes do not have to be framed as horizontals! Whether we frame a portrait as a vertical or a horizontal, and whether we frame a landscape as a horizontal or a vertical, is decided upon by the image’s content and the image’s intended use!
Finally, we are going to show you how very slight changes in the position of our subject’s face can accentuate or minimize different features on that subject’s face. Let’s begin!
The information in this tutorial represents a small excerpt from Steve Sint’s book, Digital Portrait Photography: Art, Business, and Style. Of further interest, Steve Sint is conducting a workshop on wedding photography and portraiture at the Maine Media Workshops from July 8 - July 14, 2012. Click here for more information.