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    • I got into photography in 2004 and for the most part I have avoided taking pictures of people. I wasn't interested. I've always been pretty shy and introverted, so I just didn't really want the direct social interaction. In 2006 I did senior portraits for my cousin (mostly because I felt obligated) and while the results weren't terrible (especially for my very first portrait shoot with no research) there were some issues. I didn't really enjoy it, and it didn't have plans to ever do it again.

      Since then I've developed more of an interest in portrait photography, but never pursued actually doing any myself. About a year ago I showed my boss some of my work and we talked a bit about photography. I stopped working with him shortly after that, but last month he asked me if I do senior portraits. I explained my experience with portraits and he was still interested, so I decided I would give it a shot. I did some research on techniques and things and bought a reflector. Unfortunately I didn't have time to actually get any practice in before the shoot. I figured as a worst-case scenario if they weren't happy I'd just give them what I got for free and they'd find someone better to do a real shoot.

      I'll post a few of the pictures I ended up with.

    • These are my top 4 picks, and I'm interested in hearing some feedback from more experienced portrait photographers (or anyone else, for that matter) because I feel like these are pretty good, but there may be things I hadn't thought of that might have improved them. Like I said, my experience level is very low.

    • Exposure is on point so you have the tech nailed down. Nothing wrong with image 1&2 (number 2 is you best of these 4 imo) your weakness is in image 3&4 to my mind. Number 3 is just kind of a 'plonk' your subject here and snap, get the shoulders angled and head half turned towards the camera. You need to 'soften' the pose while keeping the eye contact. I'd have gone waist up with maybe a finger curling her hair locks.

      Number 4 has the biggest faults for me but easiest to have got right. No connection to the viewer, maybe full body distance shot with a swathe of colour all around her. Stand the lady behind the flower smelling the sent and looking towards the camera with a little knowing smile, bingo, mantle piece framed shot for mum and dad right there.

      All in all your are not as far away from great progress in your portrait images as you think, keep going and best of luck to you.

    • I don't come from the US so don't have any senior portraits culture or understanding. I do like portraits, even do them from time to time when I get the opportunity. My experience is in street photography. I like 1. Number 2 is interesting and shows a different facial structure because of the differing lighting. The glow is attractive, I find the relative darkness on one side of the face might detract a bit. Number 3 is honest and simple I like it. Number 4 doesn't do it for me - it doesn't communicate and her communication with her face and eyes is the strongest part of her.

    • The second one is the best of the four. One of the reasons is that it does not rely only on ambient lighting. Another reason is the positioning of the model's head. In the other three photos, one could almost draw a vertical and horizontal cross through the subjects head. Both the inclination of the head vertically and the tucking in of the chin help to make this picture more appealing.

      Based on all four of these, you seem to be trying to get a large percentage of the body as well as the head. In a "senior portrait" traditionally speaking the head is the main focus of the portrait. Many "senior portraits" end with the shoulders. It is not necessary to be traditional but you might want to discuss with the client what the client desires before framing your shot.

    • I would have leaned more heavily on a right sided composition for the first one, feels a little off to me, but looks nice and I imagine a good youth to adult transition story with the swing.

      Unlike many I think 4 is one of the best, although I would have instagram squared the image just above the chest to make the composition more appealing (my taste perhaps).

      I am not sure what translates for a senior portrait but all of these have a more fun and perhaps personal story with the subject and her family.

      Nice pictures. 👍🏻

    • get the shoulders angled and head half turned towards the camera.

      We did that throughout the shoot, I just liked the openness of the straight on shot.

      Stand the lady behind the flower smelling the sent and looking towards the camera with a little knowing smile

      I think that's really what I had in my mind at the time, I just didn't quite get it there. Thanks for your feedback, Graham.

    • In a "senior portrait" traditionally speaking the head is the main focus of the portrait. Many "senior portraits" end with the shoulders. It is not necessary to be traditional but you might want to discuss with the client what the client desires before framing your shot.

      We did meet up before the shoot to talk about what they were hoping for and I made sure to include some more traditional shots for them as well.

      Good tip on the head tilt, thanks. I see what you mean about the added light in the second one. Unfortunately at the location in the third and fourth shot the reflector wasn't any use - we got there a little too late for an area with tall trees. I was a little upset with myself about that.

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