Elements of Creative Studio Portraiture

Rod Windover | | Categories: Low Key Style , Portrait , RA Photo Club , Studio Portraiture

Professional Photographers Of Canada

There are many elements which go into making a good photograph.

When it comes to portraits; all the usual factors come into play; focus, composition, background and exposure.

Here is a portrait example of an outdoor model shoot using natural light in a park-like setting.

A well-equipped studio offers the photographer the maximum degree of creative control over two crucial aspects of portraiture: the background and lighting.

Having a distraction free background highlights the subject. A studio provides changeable backdrops which eliminate clutter and emphasize the subject.

Lighting extends beyond achieving the correct exposure. How the light falls on the subject determines the mood of the image. The balance of light and shadow creates detail and interest.

Hard light makes sharp shadow edges and is dramatic. Softer light envelopes the subject; and when it is directed from two or more light sources can be evened presenting a well-rounded image.

The ability to modify the strength and placement of the lights provide infinite possibilities depending upon the vision the photographer has for a shoot.

Here’s an example of a true low-key style with a stark effect and high contrast between light and dark. One of the signature elements of this style is employ a greater aspect ratio, of 3:1, 4:1 or even 5:1 between the strength of the key light and the fill light. This results in dark shadows and bright highlights.

I had a great time inviting my daughter Sarah, and her fiancé Cory to the studio at the RA Photo club during their visit home over the Christmas holidays. We had a lot fun getting some individual portraits and some couple shots.

These photos were taken in low-key theme. I kept the background dark and had Sarah and Cory wear dark coloured clothes. These are two hallmarks of low key style, along with the black background.

Sarah in feminine pose, three-quarters face view, head and shoulders.

Cory, basic pose, full face view, head and shoulders

Sarah and Cory, feminine pose, full face view, head and shoulders.