Day Photo Tips from the Experts
by Gary Bernstein and Clay Blackmore
good be with you again. This month, I'll do the lead-in, showing
you some of my photographs, to be followed by one of the most-talented
and sought-after portrait and wedding photographers in the country--Clay
Blackmore out of the Washington, D.C. area. Clay is one of the
professional photographers who is a
ZugaPhoto.TV star--meaning that you can read Clay's words,
check out his photographs...and most-importantly...watch his
shows on our 24-7 show channel.
the title of this month's column... Sort of sounds like reverse
sexism, doesn't it? It is really a reference to lighting, posing,
camera angles and attitude. Here is the reality: While men are
every bit as egotistical, insecure, and absolutely as concerned
about how they look on film (or digital) as the female of the
species--and maybe more so, they are also significantly easier
to photograph. I can already hear the guys grumbling. But it
the photography phrase of the day is double standard--the pictorial
physical differences between men and women. The idea of feminine
beauty --particularly photographic beauty--is imprinted on our
minds every day on television, in print and in the movies. Face
it--we live In a world that sees a new Victoria's Secret catalog
appear at our door every half hour (or so it seems)! It becomes
increasingly difficult for women to "keep up" with the standard
being set out their. And photographically, capturing beauty
in our ladies--not the "real" inward beauty--but the surface
beauty that is the basis for photography, requires a lot of
know-how on the part of the photographer. We've talked about
some of those things in past RitzCamera.com columns.
the flip side--the counter to the pristine perfect female--is
the rough, character-driven image of today’s male. Again,
this rugged, realistic look--now complete with a “goat”
or stubble, weathered skin, lines, wrinkles and razor burn--is
simply reflected as “character.” Again, it’s
the double standard as promoted by Madison Avenue, Hollywood,
the magazines and the public at large.
when it comes to photography--believe me--guys are easy. The
male revels in overt camera angles, harsh, contrasty lighting--you
name it. The choices are limitless when it comes to selection
of lenses and lighting balances when shooting guys. There are
no rules when photographing men.
that I’ve said that...here are some “suggestions,”...
start with, get a quality image "in the can" before
you start playing around with variations on a theme. Let’s
look at the similarities and differences in the four images
The images capture a young Mr. Universe (A.D. Mujic) shirtless;
a mature fashion designer dressed formally (the legendary Donald
Brooks); a famous comic actor (David Allen Grier) dressed like
“the bomb,” and a headshot you have seen in a previous
RitzCamera.com column--a shot of actor Jack Scalia.
similarities? Each one is lit the same way--with extreme angular
lighting coming in from high and to the side. Why? Because it
brings out character and texture in the face. It brings out
depth in the face. In the case of our bodybuilder, the light
is so high that we don't even get light into the eyes. Does
it matter? Probably not to the women out there--because that
angular high light cutting across his body is what brings out
all those "cuts." Obviously the subject did have something to
do with it. I just helped.
In this column, we have headshots, full lengths and half lengths.
We have color. We have black and white.
Bottom line--capture the character. Do it with lighting and
do it with subject control.
to think about when you look at the four images I have here:
the composition. In each case the eyes are in the upper third
of the picture. In each the guys are being "real." Scalia confronts
you. Donald is truly laughing, as is David. And A.D. forces
you to look
more on photographing men, here’s the incomparable Clay
Men is one of the most popular requests in our studio. We often
are required to capture portraits for business use such as,
corporate proposals, websites, and magazine print. The rules
are simple: keep the head and body facing the light, and keep
the top of the head slightly tilted towards the lower back shoulder,
and try to create a relaxed natural portrait with a moment of
alertness in the eyes. One thing that you will notice about
our portraits is that they are consistent.
the 1, 2, 3
1 is lighting pattern, 2 is posing, and 3 is the angles, (meaning
camera positions) of the face. In other words, there are three
basic views of the face--full face, or the 2/3 view (where the
face is turned to and angled and both eyes are still visible
from camera position), and the third angle is the profile view
of the face. Applying these few variables and rules, you can
create a plethora of portraits. For men we are only using one
of the two poses: The basic, or masculine pose which means that
the head and body are facing in the same direction.