Saturday, February 7, 2009

The five-minute photo shoot

Since my posts have been less frequent lately, I wanted to hurry and do a "background" shoot. Just blocks away from my home and in front of an apple orchard sits a run-down fruit stand full of textures just begging to be used as a background. So I took Lucas for a very quick shoot amid freezing cold winds. The whole shoot lasted about 2 minutes. Better weather and more time would have been great, but neither of those was an option.

My conclusion: A short photo shoot is better than none. Try it out:
  • Keep your eye out for a nearby location with color and texture (even a dumpster can fit the bill, or a school playground, or...)
  • Don't worry about perfect hair. Keep it natural.
  • A plain white or black shirt won't clash with the background.
  • Shoot quickly and get out.
Here is a sampling of the results without virtually no retouching beyond cropping.

The stylized crop is actually my way of not showing that one sleeve was up and one down:

But on the other hand, the disheveled look suits his style.

If I had not told him to change into a white shirt, his clothes would have clashed with this beautifully textured shed.

Even a head-and-shoulders shot benefits from a good background. And speaking of basic shots...

Your standard mug shot à la school photos is way better with a real-world background.

So, go give it a try. And when you do, share your results.