For this project I took advantage of a portrait session set up by my local camera club. Lighting and models had already been supplied. I was glad about this as it allowed me to concentrate on taking test exposure shots, making adjustments, my interaction with the model, and choosing the poses that I wanted to try out for this exercise.
There is no denying that I still feel awkward doing portrait work. But I am getting better and I don't feel quite so much like a rabbit in the headlights anymore.
I have uploaded a contact sheet below for the session. The model started off with a couple of good poses unprompted and I could tell that I would like the results. I then asked her to move her head slightly and change her eye line a few times as we worked our way though the session. My instinct proved to be correct for the early images as when I got back to my computer I graded these early shots as "C=good and one of them "C/D=good/best shot."
At this point the model changed pose and put her hand to the side of her head. With my first shot of the new pose I hadn't zoomed out enough and her elbow was cropped from the picture. I re-framed the shot and took some more. Again, I asked her to move her head and change her eye line a few times. I have graded "A=not good" because of the cropped elbow or the eye line is wrong and the others as "B=acceptable" or "C=good."
A longer shot that I took is okay but the plain background adds nothing of interest to this image. "B=acceptable."
We then incorporated a chair into the shoot and played around with several poses - some in the chair and others astride it. I quite liked this chair pose when we set it up but when it came time to grade the images the models hips look wrong due to the lower viewpoint and her leaning back in the chair. "A=not good." It is not a flattering image. When we turned the chair around and begun to experiment with the hands I asked her to clasp her hands together but straight away I could tell this did not work and didn't bother to even take the shot. The model also looked slightly puzzled by my suggestion and she obviously felt the pose not suitable. This is probably why the very next image was graded "A=not good" - the model has a slightly bored look in her eye!
I then zoomed in on the face and single hand for the next few shots and have graded all of these as "C/D= good/ best shot."
The last two images I thought looked good in the camera but when it came time to grade them they did not work. The shot with the hands draped over the chair back are too prominent in the shot and the clasped hands in the chair looks ungainly and contrived. I graded both "A=not good."
Of the images marked as "C/D=good/best shot." I chose these two as the overall best shot (I know, I cheated by picking two.) I liked the quizzical expression in the first and the shape of the hair as it frames the face and mirrors the hand in the second.