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Portrait Practice

After taking my nephew’s senior pictures, I wanted to get more practice with portraits.  And I wanted to use a female model who would, presumably, be less camera-shy and more likely to hold a pose.  I immediately thought of Kendall, my second cousin.  So I asked, and she said yes!  Last Saturday morning, we got together for our photo shoot, and she was just terrific.

Kendall is a natural with the camera.  And pretty, too!  This time around, I just said to stand or sit in whatever position felt comfortable, “as if you’re just talking to your friends,” and we went from there.  Several times, when she moved to talk to her mom, pet the cat, or just unconsciously as we were talking with each other, I would say, “Stop right there!  Hold that pose.”  She would laugh, but hold that pose.

There were some poses that I asked for that didn’t turn out well at all (you won’ t see those here), but that’s what this was about.  Practice, practice, practice!  Reviewing the photos, I could see what worked and what didn’t.  The tilt of the head, angle of the shoulders, smiling or not smiling, where are the hands and feet, etc., etc.  It’s interesting to see what worked better for my nephew, Logan, compared to what worked better for Kendall.

I clearly need work with lighting and exposure; some of the shadowy shots would have been lovely if they had been sharper.  There is a portrait class that I’d love to take that would teach me about lighting, but the bottom line is that I just don’t have the right equipment to make it worth my while.

Thank you Kendall for being such a great model.  I hope your cheeks didn’t hurt too much from all that smiling!

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22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great photo shoot! I’d love to get my kids on board with something like this, but I don’t think they’d be fond of posing for me. They get antsy for the Christmas shots I do once a year!

    May 9, 2012
    • They’re probably still too young. My dad said, “I would think that your niece would model for you.” I said, “My niece is 5 years old.” So, no, she has no desire to stand still for me. The pictures I get of her are on the fly – or when I trick her into being still(ish) in some way or other.

      May 10, 2012
      • Exactly. I get one (if I’m lucky) ‘cheese’ out of them before they’re off and moving again.

        May 10, 2012
        • One trick I used on my niece is I asked her to think about her mom (you could use a book or whatever works). After a second, I asked her to tell me what she exactly was thinking about. She sat in one spot and talked to me, and I clicked away. Some of the shots were useless, but I got some quite a few with really cute facial expressions.

          May 10, 2012
  2. She’s pretty and she looks lovely in these photos! 🙂

    May 9, 2012
    • All compliments are welcome! I think she’s quite lovely, too.

      May 10, 2012
  3. Great photos. You’re really getting good with the camera!

    May 9, 2012
    • I’m practicing, but I think her good photos are as much – or more – about her as me. It made a great difference that she felt comfortable with the posing and having her picture taken.

      May 10, 2012
      • I think you don’t give yourself enough credit. They’re great!

        May 10, 2012
        • Haha – that’s cause you’re my friend. But thank you for the encouragement! I am feeling a little discouraged about the photography. I want to move forward, but not sure how to/if I can with my not fancy camera.

          May 10, 2012
          • I’m happy just to set it on “Auto” and snap away. I don’t have the patience to use external flashes and set everything manually. Michael just ordered a ridiculously fancy/expensive camera and can’t wait for it to come in.

            May 10, 2012
          • Oh, I’m so jealous!!!

            May 10, 2012
  4. Vicki #

    These are great pictures.

    May 9, 2012
    • Thanks, Vicki! I was really pleased with so many of them – and isn’t she just a doll? I have a lot to work on with light and exposure, etc., though.

      May 10, 2012
  5. Mom #

    These are really great and I can’t believe how much she looks like Krys. She has grown up so fast. I am so glad you took these and spent some time with them.

    May 9, 2012
    • I know! Krys looks like Aunt Diane and Kendall looks like Krys. It was nice to visit, too! It’s like visiting my girlfriends, who I rarely see – just like no time had passed at all.

      May 10, 2012
  6. Oh my goodness- love the layout of your blog. Looks amazing!

    I’m trying to get savvier with the camera since I’d love to have my own photos on the blog rather than always having to search for frees online.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog via Renee. Love Renee! (We’re blogging friends and we guest posted on each other’s blogs. I feel like I know her in real life even though I don’t.)

    May 9, 2012
    • What a nice thing to say! I appreciate that, because I paid for this layout 😉 I like it a lot, but I wondered if it’s appealing to just me.

      You can do your own pictures! I used to take a picture for just about every post, but I don’t worry about it as much anymore.

      I love Renee, too. I took a while to followed her, and I wondered why everyone seemed to adore her, but now I do, too. She just seems so nice and…well, like a person you know in real life, even though you don’t, haha! Just to let you know, I have popped in and out of your blog recently, and I had the same thoughts about you – you seem very nice and relatable.

      May 10, 2012
  7. I love the ones of her laughing! They look great & she is a beautiful girl.

    May 10, 2012
    • I like those moments, too! They’re natural and fun and cute.

      May 11, 2012
  8. You got some great shots. Very impressive. Kendall is very photogenic and you captured her personality well.

    May 11, 2012
    • She is photogenic, isn’t she! I think I did better this time in allowing that personality to show itself.

      May 11, 2012

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