Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Environmental and Lifestyle Portraits

When choosing to get a portrait, there are many different styles to choose from. Environmental is a popular choice for higher end customers. An environmental portrait is also referred to as a lifestyle portrait. These portraits differ from the classic studio portrait as they show the real person, in the real world.

For example a family who loves boating might be photographed on their boat. The location for the photograph is chosen as it is one that reflects the people in it. It might be as simple as sitting around a kitchen to something as unique as skydiving. The important element is the people are place in a location that others would expect to find them.

What makes the difference between these portraits and a simple snapshot is where the professional photographer’s skill comes into play. A combination of posing and lighting will be used to bring the photograph to life. The photographer will place elements in the photograph to bring it to life.

The pose may be as simple as a basic placement of the people within the environment. Then allowing them to interact as to remove the “posed” looked from the shot. Props will often be carefully placed to fill out the scene and bring the story of the photograph together.

How a spoon is rotated on a table may not seem very important, but it is these small details that bring the photograph to life and make it much more than a family snapshot. Clients often wonder why I move something just a tiny bit, the end result is where it all that attention to detail is worth the effort.

Lifestyle portraits work especially well with children, as the locations are more comfortable for them. Children in a studio often react to the studio and become stiff. Their personality becomes hidden. But place them in their comfort zone and they can easily let themselves come through, resulting in a photograph that will be treasured by the parents.

Whereas shooting on location to create these wonderful photographs is more difficult for the photographer, the end results are well worth the extra effort.

Orcatek Portrait Photography - Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Boudoir Photography – A daring adventure

Many women have thought about boudoir as something they could never do. After all, how could you be that sexy in front of a stranger? But then you start to think that it would be something unexpected, a gift that will never be forgotten. It might be exciting to do something adventurous.

So a bit of research reveals that there are photographers that specialize in just this style of photography. Professionals that will be able to help you feel comfortable. A photographer who knows how to bring out that special something in you that will make you look amazing. Someone who will make sure the photographs are classy and not trashy.

So maybe you should be a bit daring and have some glamour photographs taken. It would be a gift that would never be guessed. You could bring a friend to help you relax, change outfits and provide positive feedback. Every man sees the love of his life as a beautiful, sexy woman. The photographs will become part of a fantasy world that will fill his dreams for years to come.

You’ve never done anything like this, but as it turns out, neither have most of the other women who get boudoir photography done. You are not the only one who is nervous. Most women felt just like you do now, and afterwards said that it was a fun and exciting gift. They were glad they had the adventure and so was he when he received the gift.

So now its up to you to step outside your comfort zone and book that boudoir photography appointment. You will both be glad you did.

Orcatek Boudoir And Glamour Photography - Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Very Young Children's Portraits

Shooting very young children can be one of the most challenging things to do as a photographer. They are too young to follow directions, easily tired and bored, reactionary and don’t stay focused. Sometimes it seems they just don’t want to have their pictures taken. So how does a photographer deal with this type of portrait.

First of all I prefer to actually shoot these in the client’s home. This eliminates the travel time which can often tire out the youngster. Being in their home also gives them a comfort level as they are not in a strange new place. It easy on the parents to provide additional clothes or props as needed.

When shooting I watch how the child is reacting to the shoot. Typically the shoot is done in several short runs of 3-10 minutes, allowing the child plenty of breaks to just have fun. If possible during some break time try to play with the child to allow them to find you a fun and safe person.

Be silly. Little ones respond to different things so try a variety to see what type of things the child likes. Funny noises or faces, classic peek-a-boo, favorite toys or just being on their level. I find that if I crawl down on the floor with the child it brings me into the “fun zone” and the child reacts much more favorable to me.

Watch how you react to situations that occur. A child is mimic. If you react upset or irritated, so will the child. If you are happy and laughing (even if you don’t want to) the child will respond the same way eventually. Even if the child is upset and crying and you think you will never get a shot, don’t lose your cool. Just take the break, laugh it off and put out the positive energy.

Sometimes a long lens is your friend. Put the child in a play environment and just let them have fun. Banging on a pot, playing with a box, just being a kid. With your long lens you can get the shot without the child even being aware. This works well with children who just don’t warm up to strangers quickly. Watch your angles and keep low to get those shots. You often end up laying on the ground to get the shot.

Once you get those great shots it just feels great. A happy little one will melt your heart and that of the parents. You will have created a memory that will the parents will treasure for a lifetime. And you will become the photographer of choice for future photographs.
Orcatek Photography - Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Headshots can be a challenge. They are not merely a portrait as they rely on the person and not the environment to make the image. A portrait often takes liberties in presenting a person as the want to be seen, whereas a headshot needs to portray the person as they actually are. Nothing is worse for a performer than not looking like the headshot that got them the call in the first place.

Hence the reason why headshot are often frequently updated. If the performer changes their look they will need return to the photographer for an updated headshot. The photograph used for the headshot shows the performers age, style, look, etc. Any major changes in these will require an update.

Headshots are currently shot very tight. Seldom do you see a head and shoulders headshot anymore. Crop is typically 8x10 just below the chin and into the top of the head. The performer often faces slightly off to one side, but not in profile. A straight on shot is also used for headshots, much more than in portraits.

Both high key and low key are used for headshots. The low key shots tend to be the serious, non-smiling shots and the high key shots tend to be the warm, smiling shots. Models often go for a more glamorized photograph for their headshots, more along the lines of a beauty shot.

The goal of the headshot photographer to produce the series of headshots the performer needs. The minimum that a performer will need is a smiling and not smiling shot. The photographer needs to make sure that the eyes in the shot are alive and bring you into the shot, smiling or serious.

A great headshot does not take a fancy set-up. Some of the best headshot photographers work with a single light source and a reflector or two. The key is knowing how to use those simple tools create the look that gets them noticed.

A headshot is often seen by a casting director for a few seconds before in moves to pile A or pile B. Great headshots will get into pile A much more often than a poor one. The rest is up to the performer.

Orcatek Headshot Photography - Phoenix, Arizona