Hi! Happy February. I’m hoping to see a lot of love themed images this month.
Month one of this new year is done (wow, that went quickly), and I still can’t believe I kept my NY’s Resolution to shoot more portraits. I officially shot five models (six, unofficially), so I thought it was time to do an end-of-month review that would also allow me to (re-)introduce my models and share some of the lessons I learned along the way.
Model #1: Anna
Anna and I met on New Year’s Day to kick off this whole “I’m going to do more portraits” project…and had a fun time. I wasn’t thinking of shooting the next day, but she mentioned she was free (before heading back to LA) and I thought, why not? I’m so glad we ended up meeting again because I think I got better pictures on the second day. Lesson: Just go shoot. Especially if the alternative is to rest. More likely than not, you won’t regret it. (Side note: if I had started off this Portraits Project with anyone else, I don’t know if I would have kept going. Anna was a great starting point.)
Model #2: Paris
I got lucky with Paris in various ways: she was photogenic, easy to work with, and there were a few shots that The Universe set up for us. While I was fortunate that things worked out the way they did, in hindsight I felt as though I could have gotten more shots if I had planned more of what I wanted to shoot. Lesson: plan your shoots as much as you can (i.e. put together an idea/inspiration board before meeting up).
Model #3: Kelsey
Kelsey and I decided to meet at 2:00 in Wicker Park one freakin’ cold afternoon. We got lucky with the light and walked around the area trying to find the right place to capture it. Lesson: chase that light. (Oh, and when it’s cold, plan your outdoor shots so you know where exactly you’ll want to shoot. Otherwise, you’ll be wandering the streets trying to figure out a spot while the subject is freezing to death. Brrrrrr….)
Model #4: Janna
This girl is so cool. It was fun walking through the West Loop/Fulton Market talking and getting to know her while looking for places to shoot. Lesson: get to know your subject and let her personality shine through the pictures.
Model #5: Roma
Roma was very easy going and cool to work with. Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake and had my camera on the wrong setting that afternoon. I shouldn’t say “wrong”, but it was a setting I wouldn’t normally use with this scenario. Short story: I thought I was in my “go to” setting. (For the photographers out there, I thought I was shooting at f2.2 and was going crazy when my shutter speed was a lot slower that usual. Turns out I was shooting at f22. OMG. Translation: my pictures were A LOT more blurry/softer than I cared for.) Ugh. Lesson: double check your settings – and equipment while you’re at it. (We’ve all gone out shooting without a spare battery or memory card, right?)
[Unofficial] Model #6: Tatyana
I know Tatyana through Instagram, and we have seen each other a gazillion times and have no reservations about calling her my friend….but we’ve never hung out alone. I like her because she always says I’m crazy. (That’s really all it takes.) I like her for other reasons: she’s talented, encouraging and is the one of the sweetest people I know. (Girl power!) We finally met up this past Sunday (and we’ve known each other for two years! What gives?). We got ourselves caffeinated at the Map Room (which is a cool bar, by the way) before walking toward The 606. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Tatyana is supportive with my portraits initiative (i.e. she knew she was going to be a model that day….and dressed for it. I didn’t even have to say anything). She was nice enough to let me take my time with various shots. Lesson: shoot with a friend. If you can’t do that, make your subject your friend. Oh, and if you’re going to hang out with a photographer, you better get dressed and made up for it. (I ended up on the front end of her camera and was definitely not prepared. I need a red coat…and maybe some matching lipstick.) Also this picture would have been better if I had gotten closer. So if you think you’re close, GET CLOSER. (How many times have you heard that?)
So things I’d like to focus on in February: planning shoots before meeting with each model….and taking sharper pictures (I have issues with focus). Overall though, I feel like the January portraits all gave me a great learning experience and I cannot wait to do more portraits in February. 🙂