This past week weekend was another busy one for my studio. I started the morning shooting a senior portrait for Michael, graduating from George Washington High School, and head shots of his brother, Tyler, a 10-year-old actor starring in "A Raisin in the Sun" presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company. The show runs Oct. 2 -Oct. 31 and Tyler's head shot is due in August. Because their mother Elrie accompanied her sons, I decided to take a few portraits of the family as well to help them relax in front of my camera. On Sunday, I was scheduled to help Jason Peckovitch host another photo booth at one of his events, a local car show. I'll report more on that later.
Saturday's set with Michael and Tyler were the first of a two part session, including today's shots taken in studio and another hour on location outdoors. It was a great way to get to know the boys and have them feel more comfortable in front of my camera. It was great working with Elrie, who herself is a burgeoning photographer who shoots film. But after I allowed her a chance to take a few practice shots of me with my Canon 5D, I think she has definitely been bitten by the digital photography bug.
Image by Elrie Archer
The key to shooting Elrie's sons was getting genuine smiles from them. Tyler, whose favorite actor is Will Smith, was shocked and happy to learn I had met Smith briefly and shot his picture ala paparazzi with my Canon G9. Tyler wants to be a comedic actor, so I focused my images of him trying to capture his signature laugh. It was fun and very helpful to have the older brother, Michael, give Tyler suggestions on poses, as I am still learning how to shoot male models.
Though shooting in a traditional studio setting, Mike clearly preferred the more urban look of him kicking back on a bench.
Another plus was shooting tethered, allowing Elrie, Michael and Tyler to see their images immediately on my laptop. That made it easier for me to confer with them to find out what shots worked for them and what didn't and make sure we were on the same page for the type of feel they wanted in those images. In addition, the larger 17 inch screen made it easy for me to check for details and note if my images were out of focused (which is often harder to see on a tiny LCD) and recompose them. This video from Jim Talkington (who is a Canon shooter like me) explained to me exactly how to do it.