Planning and executing portrait photography is an art in itself. Creative vision, styling and props should be carefully prepared. Here, Ambassador Carla Step shares all the factors to consider before thinking about a shoot.
Words and photos by Carla Steppe
Step 1: Mood board
If you’re planning a portrait shoot and that’s not a challenge, the first thing to do is access the images you’ve saved for inspiration. Those pictures are where I start imagining what I want to do. Create a mood board with all your ideas and plan your session from there.
Step 2: Color
One of the most important questions I always ask myself is what color do I want to use? Color is very important to me, sometimes even more important than space and props.
Sometimes the model itself makes me think of a particular color, and sometimes I look for the opposite color. That is, to allow this person to find her palette of colors different from her usual aesthetic, and to photograph her from a different perspective.
“Finding the right clothing for portraits is very important to me. I see clothing as an artistic element with its own texture, color and shape.”
Step 3: Light and Space
Once you know what colors you want to use in your image, start thinking about your space. The best-case scenario for me is a photo studio with natural light.
Natural light usually makes colors stand out in a very special way and has a positive effect on people. The biggest drawback and the biggest advantage for me is that you can't control the light of the day you shoot, but it also gives your photos a natural and magical touch.Adapts to all lighting situations over time. and get used to knowing how to use them.
Regarding the spatial elements, the ideal for me is to have as minimal an environment as possible so that I can only add furnishings if I am interested on a compositional or conceptual level. If not, it's easiest to work with a smooth canvas.
Step 4: Clothing
Finding the right clothes for portraits is very important to me. I think of clothes as artistic elements that have their own textures, colors and shapes.
For example, when shooting in a white space, I usually use clothes to add color. On the other hand, if the background is a striking color, look for tones that match the background or use neutral white or black clothing. Here's my advice to everyone I take pictures with: We always bring you timeless clothing like white shirts, her t-shirts in solid colors in a variety of colors, dress pants, classic layers like classic jeans, trench coats, biker and denim her jackets.
Step 5: Props
Once you've defined your color palette, locations, lighting, and wardrobe, it's time to think about your props. These are the elements that give character to the set and create action and movement for the models.
My basis is to incorporate chairs that match the atmosphere of the session. This provides a greater variety of positions for the characters I draw. Other elements that are very typical but always work are books, flowers or glasses. Objects that are closely related to our daily life can be of interest.
See here for portrait inspiration These iconic portraits Add it to your next mood board.
Carla Step is a visual artist whose photography focuses on the fashion, travel and portrait genres. Her graphics Her training in design and plastic arts, and her constant experimentation with photography define her style as an artist. As her ambassador for Urth, Carla shoots using her Urth lens and her filters.