Photographic Portrait sessions

Photographic Portrait sessions, aren’t as easy as you might think

Being part of any club or society, typically provides you with more options, in my case Crewe Photography Society (CPS) decided to run a portrait session outside our normal winter season. While we have had this type of session before with Graham Currey, we now had the opportunity to work with a couple, Dean and Lynda. AKA Vintage Dapper Chap

As some of the team members had lights and backdrops, thankfully they were on hand to assist and provide the guidance needed. Many thanks to Peter for organising it and Martin for his studio setup

So to the session, there were three sessions split across two rooms, with both models together and then separate, allowing a variety of shots. There were three costume changes during the day. So this is my summary and some favourite images

The first was Steampunk-themed, with what I can only describe the basket contained, finger pies! Look closely into the basket. While taking the lead from the models, some direction was given throughout. It was a quick learning curve for those who haven’t controlled a session before. Good fun though

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Second and my favourite of the day was the old Policeman and his truncheon. Click on any circle to see the full image, and use arrow or swipe to then see the rest

and finally a range of classic noir shots. Some have had background effects added, where it enhances the primary subject, others coloured down to give that classic feel. I know noir is black and white, and in the shot where the couple are looking directly at each other I felt that works well, while others needed an injection of colour

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Its was a full day, the CPS group worked well together and the models did an excellent job of keeping us on track and within time. Many thanks to Dean and Lynda, great job

Lesson’s learnt include

    1. The lighting setup, triggers and general settings of the camera need careful set up before you start. ISO 100, f8 through to f11 was mainly used, with a shutter speed of 1/250 or similar. On the Sony A7 III, you have to disable the Settings Effect, so you can view post shot the images, which is a result of using studio flashes
    2. The models have a set of poses and positions, but they like to get feedback and direction from the photographer. Remember they aren’t seeing what you see each time
    3. If something isn’t right STOP and FIX it. There is no point photographing if the lights aren’t firing, the frame is cutting the edge of the backdrop or the model’s costume is hanging off etc.
    4. Think about what you want from a photoshoot, before, during and in some ways after. The setup of background, costume, the position of model, lighting, cropping and post clean up all play a part in getting the image, just right
    5. Enjoy it. If the member or models are struggling, take a break, change the scene or even location. There are so many options available to you on the day

The year is by no means over, with a Supercar festival and Ireland motorcycle touring, coming up, plus several other events scheduled. I look forward to sharing more images soon

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© 2009-2019 Carl Sumner @

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