Sometimes when you’re shooting a portrait, you want something different. You’ve got access to costumes, props, big lights, and you’re loaded with big ideas. The result can be whatever you want it to be; why not give yourself the royal treatment? Case in point:
When the folks at Phlearn decided to shoot staff portraits, they wanted something fun and adaptable to everyone’s specific personalities. They wanted to allow themselves to be as expressive as they felt. They found some royal costumes, big white wigs, and a whole whack of props, and the results are pretty amazing:
The initial ideas didn’t look much like the final product. They experimented with a lot of things that didn’t wind up working: namely, toy guns, and judicial white wigs. They’re using guns through most of the shoot, yet noticeably the final shots worked better without them.
“A lot of things changed during this photo shoot. We took out the guns, we took out the wigs, and we totally changed the look and feel of the lighting halfway through as well… It’s really important to have a solid concept—just, like, know what you want to do when you’re entering a photo shoot—but also, be totally open to change. Like, if it’s not working out, and people aren’t really feeling it and the images aren’t turning out, it’s usually a good idea to change it up and say, ‘You know what? This isn’t working. Let’s try something else.'”
Another tip they recommend is having a big, broad lighting set up to encourage movement. This is always a good idea for shooting kinetic subjects, like kids and pets, but it holds true for antsy models or artistic types, also.
Lastly, obviously Photoshop plays a big role in this series. The trick is to think of Photoshop as part of the photo shoot, rather than as a way to solve bad photos. Make it part of the process, and understand beforehand what you want to achieve in post-production and what you want to get right in-camera. It’s easier to shoot everything if you can envision the final product already.
What do you think? Have you ever done a fancifully silly self-portrait? Let us know in the comments below!
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