Itching to shoot anything, I recently attended a free workshop on portrait and fashion photography at the Collective, a sort of art deco shopping center in Makati. Here are a few shares from the photoshoot after.
I don’t shoot portraits as much simply because I’m really not a big fan of having people pose – I like taking candid moments better, and if people would ever be conscious of the camera in front of them, I prefer the earnestness and sincerity that street portraits give, as opposed to the consummate professionalism that models exude during formal portrait shoots.
That’s not to say though, that formal portraits and fashion shoots are bad, in my book – there are actually a number of good portraitists and fashion photographers whose work I look up to; Borj Meneses, Jong Clemente, and Jason Tablante, to name a few.
When it comes to portraits, I have a lot of requirements, or I’d rather not shoot. I don’t like studio portraits much, because there’s lesser elements to play around with to give variety to the shots you’ll take. I also have zero knowledge in lighting, which you need when shooting inside a studio, unless you have someone else to setup the lights for you. I also prefer models who know how to pose, because, as Borj Meneses pointed out in one of his Facebook shoutouts, all your efforts to achieve good composition and all your technical ability will be wasted if your model can’t project herself well. Good thing April knew how to work it – Tyra Banks would be proud.
I also initially thought that the graffiti on the wall didn’t suit the model’s dress – until a master pointed it out to me that the edgy design of the art on the wall complemented the cute, girly, and flowery pattern on the dress. Never thought of it that way.
All of this was also shot using ambient light only, with no reflectors, just my trusty 50mm 1.4 wide open at 1600 ISO. Noise removal was done in post, some added blur and exposure brushing here and there to add emphasis on the model.