NECKWhen making portraits that you hope will be purchased to be displayed on your clients walls, you sometimes need to go a bit further than the traditional portrait.

During our pre-portrait conference I found out that this woman’s husband was hoping to get an image of his wife that was more than just the typical picture of her face.

So with her enthusiastic participation we began to make a series of abstract images of her body. This one turned out to be his favorite and is displayed as a 30X40 inch portrait over a love seat in his family room.

It is easy to get locked into a normal way of shooting and all of a sudden we look up and notice that everything we have done for the last several years looks the same.

I highly recommend that after a normal photography session where you feel you have captured the images your client will invest in you discuss with him or her or them some off the beaten track ideas for a few additional images. At the very least you might come up with something new for your portfolio.





Corncrib copy

Photographing horizontal lines is extremely difficult. And it is especially difficult when you are trying to keep everything straight and vertical. Even if your camera is perfectly level, you may not be completely perpendicular to the subject which will make the horizontal lines look like they’re running up and down.

So how do you solve this? Here is my four-step approach to getting it right.

  1. Choose your camera position. Try to point the lens perfectly perpendicular to the subject by eye.
  1. Whip out your trusty level and make sure the camera is perfectly level in all directions.
  1. Look through the viewfinder and check to see if the horizontal and vertical lines are still horizontal and vertical.
  1. If the lines aren’t vertical and horizontal anymore, slowly turn the camera left and right while looking through the viewfinder until the lines become straight.  You may have to move the camera position left or right to re frame the scene.

Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work all at once. It takes a little practice.