Fine art portrait photographer

A Fine Art Portrait Session with Sarah

What can I say? I love doing Fine Art Portraiture. In this case, the session was more for my learning than anything else. Learning sessions are a critical practice for any artist. Being able to test and try different things in the studio with no worry of messing up. I mean, even if I do mess up, it’s only for learning.

For this session, I enlisted the help of a family friend, Sarah. She has no previous modeling experience. The fact that she has no previous experience is just what I wanted. That being said, she did great! I also brought in Jenn from Jennifer Robinson Makeup Artist to help prepare Sarah’s hair and makeup. Doing so is always a priority and a necessity in achieving the desired results.

Before the session, we had already determined the style of portrait we wanted to achieve. I accomplished this by creating a Pinterest Board and sharing it with Both Sarah and Jenn. I find Pinterest an invaluable tool for this. We also discussed clothing options and decided on going with two different looks. Doing the prep work before the session always ensures things run much smoother while on set.

As for the technical details for equipment and lighting, I kept it relatively simple. For my Backdrop, I was using a neutral gray hand-painted canvas. Sarah was positioned only a couple of feet in front of the Backdrop.  My lighting consisted of only two lights. The key light was a medium Deep Para placed “camera left” and only about 3 feet away for Sarah. The key light was not pointed directly at her but feathered slightly in front of her. The second light was a large Octabox positioned behind the camera and pointed directly at her. I set this light to very low power as its primary purpose was to fill slightly in the shadow areas. My lens of choice was an 85mm prime lens. The 85mm lens is my favorite focal length for Fine Art Portraits.

Once I took care of all technical details, the only thing left to do was capture some great portraits. Combining a properly posed model with a fascinating expression is crucial to creating a great image. I shot several photos during the session while working through various poses. At the end of the session, I was confident that I had captured some images that I liked.

Many might think that this is where the work ends – after the session, that is. I would say that all of the prep work and the actual session is only about half of the total amount of work that I need to complete. Image selection and final editing are a large amount of work. This amount will vary depending on how many images from the session I have to edit. In Fine Art Portraits, much more editing is done to each image to get it to the final completed look. The editing phase is where the artistic part of the entire process comes into play. Although time-consuming, I do love this task.