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In this course, Pulitzer finalist Natalie Fobes shows how to capture engaging portrait shots of couples, families, and other groups using a variety of posing and composition techniques.
The course discusses how to plan for a portrait photo shoot and how to make stylistic decisions regarding props, clothing, and makeup. Next, the course reviews the essentials of posing women and men, starting with a single subject, moving on to a couple, and then working up to large groups. The course also demonstrates how to pose and compose a group portrait in ways that highlight the relationships between group members, whether they're family members or business colleagues. Lastly, to illustrate the time constraints photographers often face, Natalie works against the clock to shoot a group of people she's never met.
The course also covers various postprocessing techniques geared specifically for portraiture, such as working with wrinkles and skin textures.
I really learned a lot by studying the old dutch masters. They were great at doing group portraits. They staggered the heads, they used subgroups, and they used props now and again to get the message across in their paintings. It's the same with photography today. A great example of this is a wedding. The brides always have the biggest bouquet. No matter what color their dress is, you can always tell who they are, and the birthday hat clearly shows who is the birthday girl, and what soccer photograph is complete without a soccer ball? There are times that you want to have the landscape be part of the photograph, and the most important part of the photograph, and in that case it really is important to make sure that the composition is there.
Now if I want to emphasize the people in the photograph, then I will use a shallow depth of field or selective focus. This will blur out the background and bring the attention back to their faces. Now if that term is unfamiliar to you, check out my course, The Elements of Effective Photographs on lynda.com.
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