I’ve been asked if I do this before, and the answer was always some version of “sort-of.” Informal, outdoor portraiture. There, I said it.
I’ve always shied away from portraiture in general. I’ve seen some amazing, dramatic work done in the studio with umbrellas, lights, and all kinds of equipment currently lacking in my arsenal.
On the other end of the spectrum is the outdoor, informal portrait genre in which the model/family/couple/person tries to look relaxed/natural outside of a studio setting. Lately, I’ve observed Engagement Photography growing in popularity; most of what I’ve seen of this subset shows the couple outdoors. The results can be very nice or abysmal (I’ve seen both).
I’ve been reluctant to ever attempt this type of photography, despite the fact that it can be lucrative for photography, for the simple fact that the majority of engagement sessions I look at seem boring – or, even worse: hackneyed. I’m not sure if this is the fault of the photographer, the client(s) for desiring a certain type of ‘look,’ or a mixture of both.
- An example of what I consider excellent engagement photog: Imaginative Studios
- I’m not going to provide a link to work I [subjectively] consider sub-par, but suffice it to say that if you look at enough portraiture blogs, you will uncover much awkward/badly exposed/uncompelling/poorly composed informal portrait photography!
Long story short, I had a lot of fun yesterday! For once, I used my 70-300mm telephoto for what it’s really good at! It almost feels as though I have a whole new lens. I’m feeling inspired by these types of portraits now, and I’m going to have to convince more unwitting friends to traipse about in front of my lens.
Keep in mind these shots are intended to focus on the pin:
It’s something I’ll be thinking about.
Any portrait photographers out there? I’d love to hear your story and learn from your expertise!