Portraits have always been my weak point when it comes to newspaper photography. Give me an hour at an event and I’ll bring back some nice images. Give me some lights and a subject and I freeze up. Rob, my boss, noticed this right away after I started working in Gainesville and has been helping me get more comfortable making nice portraits. He hooked me up with better lighting equipment and has given me numerous pointers.
Last week I had two portrait shoots and actually came away with two images I like. So I’m showing them off here. Like most (all) photos I take, after looking at them I see a million things I could have done to make them better. But that’s the beauty of newspaper shooting, I know I’ll get another chance sooner or later.
They’re both pretty simple and only use one light. I’ve used multiple lights in the past and would eventually like to get better using 2-3 lights, but for now, I’m happy (comfortable) with just one.
The young girl in the pool is a synchronized swimmer in town. Her mom said we had all the time we needed so I was able to play around in the pool with different poses and situations. After about an hour of trying to get something neat underwater, we stopped shooting to brainstorm our next move when she stretched and kind of jumped out of the pool a little. I said “That’s it! do that again!” She looked at me and said “I’m just stretching. You want me to just stretch?” “Yep, and really jump out of the water while you do it.” Big thanks to Laura for sitting poolside holding the flash. Couldn’t have made this image without her help.
For the soccer player, I had to fight off dripping sweat and stupid heat. Middle of the day shoots can be tricky because of the harsh light, but I got lucky with some cool clouds. I set up one large light (with a soft box) off to her side and plopped down on the grass with my camera peeking under the back of the net. Pretty simple setup, but I like how it turned out.