Master non-verbal communication
90% of human communication is non-verbal. For someone who captures images of people that's really good news. I can effectively convey to my audience a feeling or emotion with poses and positioning.
In the above examples you can see that by changing my positioning I've completely changed the mood of both images. I've also changed the lighting to emphasize the pose, and implied emotion.
For the more sensual pose shot in landscape, I've created hard shadows with my light. For the more aggressive pose shot in portrait I've lightened the image by reducing my shadows and pulling the light more in front of my subject. I feel by doing this I've made my primary subject Margaret appear to be in control in both images regardless of the positioning.
It helps when setting up your shot to know what feeling your attempting to translate with your image and to effectively communicate that to your subject. I always show a couple of frames to my model so that she or he can see what it is that they're doing and how it's translating to the end result. I know a lot of photographers tend to shy away from this practice but I want to build confidence in both my subjects performance and my ability to make them shine in the final image. I want everyone to feel confident in what we're doing because when everyone feels good about what's going on we all preform better.
I also tend to build mood boards with images that convey my intended emotional content. This helps me visualize what I'd like to create, and assists in showing my subject what it is that we're going to attempt to photograph emotionally.
Have fun finding things you like and combining light and poses to create different emotions in your compositions. Don't be afraid to try a couple of different things to see what works best for what you'd like to accomplish, and experiment! I wouldn't recommend replicating images, but finding your own voice and creating unique original content!
Pictured is Margaret Sinarath
with Wehmann Models MPLS
and RB's arm....
MUA Angela Morris
Shot with my 85mm 1.8 and Nikon D610
ISO 100, f/16, 1/100s
Light modifier 16" beauty dish with sock on boom lit by AlienBees B800 at 1/2 power
Which camera body has the better sensor?
Max, Nikon D800 and 85mm 1.8 *soft box
Jordan, Nikon D600 and 85mm 1.8 *beauty dish w/ sock
Okay, I really like this set up, orientation, light angle and crop. A lot. That being said I knew I was going to be able to fully compare these two cameras and sensors after shooting this image.
At first glance the D600 image is much sharper and retains so much of the texture and tone of the skin. I did however shoot this image at ISO 80 and f/11. The D800 image of Max is shot at ISO 100 and f/10. What does that mean? Well, in short the D600 file with look a little sharper with just those small adjustments to the image settings.
Also I used a different light diffuser for the images. I'm always partial to the beauty dish with sock. I really love the light that it projects. Max's shot is using a large soft box which will create softer shadows and highlights. I didn't use a reflector on Max for fill. Looking at Jordan's image that's almost a must for this shot. The reflector adds dimension and interest.
If I was to really have to choose between the D800 and D600 for sharpness and clarity it would hands down be the D600. In regard to ease of use and editing compatibility I would have to say the D800 all day long. Allow me to argue a little why I would be willing to sacrifice image sharpness for the D800.... Each camera has it's own unique RAW file. The D800 RAW files will open in CS5.5 or RAW version 6.4 which is what I currently edit in... No, I don't use Lightroom. I was a graphic designer first and I know PhotoShop better than you'll ever know Lightroom. The D600 was released AFTER the D800 and the RAW files for the D600 will only open in CS6 or RAW 7.2 or higher. The highest plug in for CS5.5 RAW is 6.4 and Adobe will not be supporting the D600 RAW files in CS5.5 because of Creative Cloud. So if you're not editing in either Lightroom 4 or CS6 you're not going to be able to open your D600 RAW files.
Learn from my mistake. I'm currently editing my D600 files in Lightroom 5. I so much prefer using PhotoShop that I really have no desire to use that camera ever again. The D800 is already my first love and I find it really hard to even want to shoot anything but it along with my 85mm 1.8. I'm going to try and get my hands on the D810 and see what she can do and then compare everything to the Canon 5D. I really think that the Canon body adjustments and controls are SO UNFRIENDLY after being a Nikon shooter, I'm excited to see what the deal is with this 5D.
The D800 remains my clear winner in the race with the D600. I'm curious what you think if you've shot either or both of these camera bodies please share your experiences!
I had the pleasure of working with Angela Morris MUA last week on some beauty shots of Chelsea Lawrence! I had a great time and love her work. We are booking glamour and headshot sessions together. Send me an email for booking information! The studio is located on Greenline in the Jax building in historic Lowertown Saint Paul!