Rocky is a total rockstar and incredibly professional model. He was so good at listening to his mama’s commands and really worked hard for our shoot. We met at one of my most popular places to shoot and had a great morning.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is regarding lighting — Do I use flash, do my clients just have ridiculously well lit homes, etc etc etc. When I shoot indoors, I try to avoid using flash as my main light as much as possible. My tips for shooting indoors for are:
#1) Shoot with a fast lens, and shoot wide open.
#2) Try to find the best light in the house. Use windows as your light source. Good light trumps location.
#3) Shoot manual. Play with the ISO and crank it up if you have to. Blurry, out of focused images just stink and take the life right out of a potentially good portrait.
If you’re shooting outdoors and want awesome light:
#1) Try to avoid shooting in harsh sunlight. This creates ugly highlights and shadows. I generally only shoot when natural light is best, which is early in the morning or right before sunset.
#2) If you’re shooting outside and it’s super bright out, use a fill flash. I use a flash a lot when I’m shooting a back-lit subject and want the gorgeous sunflare from behind, but want to have a properly exposed subject.
#3) If you’re shooting outside and it’s super bright and you want to shoot a backlit subject but don’t happen to have a flash, try changing your metering mode to SPOT (it looks like a little dot) and expose for your subject. This tends to brighten up the subject so you don’t get a dark silhouette.
The second most frequently asked question I get (and I get this question nearly every blog post!) is what lens I use. 99.9% of my photos are shot with either the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens or the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. I really don’t need any other lens in my bag, and if I find myself in need of another like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens (for when I’m at the beach or dog park) I just rent them from my favorite neighborhood camera store.
A lot of people who use the 50 mm f/1.4 lens are surprised to find out we’re shooting with the same lens. The trick to getting the most out of this beeeyoootiful piece of glass is learning to ABSOLUTELY PERFECT your focusing. I always try to focus on the eyes, unless I’m intentionally focusing on the nose, tongue, etc. I also don’t let my camera choose my focusing point for me. I always shoot with the focus set to the center point and reframe.
Whew this turned into a novel! I’m going to start a Photographer FAQ section on the blog to address more questions so stay tuned. Any more questions? Feel free to ask!
(Click on small photos to enlarge)
My client was a little shy about posing with Rocky but she’s just gorgeous! This is one of my favorite pet + owner photos to date.
Our photoshoot was to commemorate Rocky’s 1st birthday on January 30th. So happy early birthday Rocky! Hope you love the photos Sharyn!