Portrait Photography From Snapshots to Great Shots

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 3/25/2014
  • Publisher: Peachpit Pr
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In Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots, author and photographer Erik Valind shows you how to get the best shots of your subjects–whether you’re in a studio or outdoors, at a family get-together, or at a formal event.

Starting with the fundamentals of portrait photography, including how to select the right camera settings and lenses and how to compose your shots, Erik covers building a rapport with your subject, and offers suggestions for poses that flatter your subject to achieve great shots. He then addresses the problems and opportunities of both natural and indoor light, offering ways to resolve lighting challenges of both, showing when and how to use a flash and how to add and modify light to improve the quality of your images. Finally, he walks through several portrait scenarios, including creating single-person shots such as headshots and environmental shots, and group shots such as family and wedding photos.

Follow along with Erik and you will:

  • Learn the basics of capturing great portraits, such as focusing on the eyes, stepping back and zooming in, and turning your subject into the light
  • Evaluate focal length, compression, and working distance to select the best lens for any given shoot
  • Establish trust with your subject and provide helpful direction and feedback so they feel at ease and look their best
  • Address challenges associated with natural light such as shade and direct light–and tame or redirect the light for improved photographs
  • Improve the light with modifiers and other helpful tools such as strobes, umbrellas, and reflectors
  • Go “behind the scenes” and walk through the process of creating great portraits with two chapters of start-to-finish examples

Beautifully illustrated with large, vibrant photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the portraits you want every time you pick up your camera.

Author Biography

Erik Valind is a commercial lifestyle and portrait photographer, born and raised on the Florida beaches. Airy and energetic lifestyle imagery defines the style and vision of this Westcott-endorsed Top Pro Photographer. Inspired by the form, activity and diversity of people, Erik has lent his expertise to shape the public image of numerous national brands and campaigns. Erik shares his visual approach, techniques and passion for photography internationally at major photo events, as an author, and online as a Kelby Training instructor. Erik is based in New York, NY.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Top 10 Tips to set you on the path to better portraits.
How to start taking better portraits right out of the box!

Chapter 2: Camera Settings & Lens Selection
Understanding your camera settings, composition and lens selection for each shot.

Chapter 3: Posing, Rapport and Problem Solving
Posing subjects naturally, giving direction before and during the shoot, providing feedback and suggested posing tips to make people look their best.

Chapter 4: Working with Natural Light
Understanding the quality and direction of natural light. Taming that natural light or redirecting it for your benefit.

Chapter 5 Working with Existing Indoor Light
Working indoors with existing light presents a host of challenges, including varying light temperatures and low light in general. Here you’ll learn to walk away with great looking skin tones and sharp images.

Chapter 6: On-Camera Flash
When used properly the on-camera flash can light an entire scene or just add that extra sparkle to your subject’s eye; here we’ll cover both approaches.

Chapter 7: Adding Artificial Light & Lighting Modifiers
Adding your own light to the scene indoors and outside. Deciding what type of lighting and when to use it. Plus tools of the trade to shape up your shot by controlling the light.

Chapter 8: Single Person Portrait Scenarios
Complete coverage of how the shot was made. Lens selection, camera settings, and lighting diagrams.

Chapter 9: Multiple People Portrait Scenarios
Complete coverage of how the shot was made. Lens selection, camera settings, and lighting diagrams.

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