Portrait Session Recipe

Imagine getting a recipe that has an extensive list of ingredients but no indication of quantity or cooking time.

That’s kind of how a location portrait session works.

Here’s the recipe for this session with my interpretation in parenthesis.

-An engaging subject (Eugene)

-A favorable location (Hermosa Beach)

-A capture device (Fujifilm X-T1 camera)

-Suitable portrait lens (35mm f/1.4)

-Good light (marine layer)

-The exact amount of time (33 minutes)

Assemble all materials and meet the subject near the intended location, ideally where he can park economically. Review his wardrobe and select something that won’t distract the eye.

Put the subject at ease through a combination of explicit direction delivered with a hint of flattery in a soft-spoken voice.

Begin photographing the subject while engaging in conversation and taking in the beauty of the location.

Don’t waste time, but don’t rush.

Repeat until there’s certainty that 11 noteworthy images have been captured.

It may sound daunting but it gets easier with practice. Give it a try for yourself.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer specializing in creating environmental on-location portraits and corporate photo libraries for blue chip companies. 

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