Portrait Tutorial Session

Andy    October 15, 2021

Hitchin Camera Club often runs tutorial nights where we ask our more experienced members to give longer more in depth presentation. For a recent Tutorial night one of our member’s asked for a presentation on Portraiture and Andy Hyde was happy to deliver.

In Andy’s presentation, he started by talking about the equipment he would be using, explaining how a studio light was nothing more than a mains powered flash gun with a modelling light so you could see the effect of the lighting before shooting. After that Andy described the different types of light modifier you can use, but how you could achieve a similar effect with just an window or open door.

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Andy describing some of the different types of light modifier

After that Andy then did a practical showing how to shoot men, women and couples. In Andy’s demo he spoke about the importance of building a rapport with your subject, and building confidence in the shoot by taking charge. As part of this Andy showed several different posing styles, but also gave several pointers for how to improve hand positioning, especial for men, and different ways to get men and women to fold their arms.

As part of the demo Andy had invited a couple to model so that the members could see the processes in action and the photos live on the screen.

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Using Strong lighting and a strong pose
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Using a prop, helps your subject hold their hands more naturally
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Get couple to hold hands in front to help turn them towards each other

When running tutorial night we’re always happy to accommodate requests from our members. Here’s what Jenny said after the presentation.

Always worth Asking

What a way to finish birthday celebrations:  An evening of camera club tutorials. Ian presented a fantastic insight into two software programs that can help reduce noise and one which it sounds like many club members will be looking into after his fantastic before and after shots (me included). 

Then Andy presented a tutorial on portrait photography.  This was at my request because portrait photography has long been my nemesis.  If you talk about “posing” your subject my mind immediately jumps to jazz hands and other silly poses.  Natural poses seem to escape me and feel like a bit of an oxymoron.  With the help from Bekkie and Jim as photography models, Andy talked us through some basics on what to look for and how to get the best of a subject plus lighting them.  I am now armed with plenty of ideas and hopefully stand a chance of getting some higher scores in portrait competitions!  So if you are struggling with something – it’s well worth asking the team.