How to take fresh portraits in a coffee shop?
- Dec 02, 2019
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For a coffee lover like me, every time I go to a city, those cafes with petty bourgeoisie or fresh style are undoubtedly my first choice. On the one hand, not only is a cup of hot cappuccino or Mocha attractive, but it's also a great choice to shoot portraits in a cafe. An emotional cafe with light and relaxed atmosphere can make models relax generally. In addition, there are many props which are convenient to use, and it is easy to provide us with a lot of photographic inspiration.
In terms of equipment, I usually choose a high-sensitivity fuselage with a large aperture focusing lens. This time, for example, I used Sony A7RII and Sony FE 85mm f/1.8. Sony A7RII still guarantees good high-sensitivity performance with high-resolution pixels (about 42.4 million effective pixels); as a classic focus segment of portraits, Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 can achieve beautiful visualization outside the focus, making the background of the photo cleaner and the picture more concise under the condition of guaranteeing the light flux. Personally, I think Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 is one of the most cost-effective and worthwhile portrait lenses in Sony's micro-single system. The lens is compact, portable, well matched with Sony A7RII, and affordable. According to the latest DSO evaluation, the lens has a light flux of 1.8 TStop.
In addition, the use of the bilinear autofocus motor also makes the focusing speed of the lens reliable. The recent focusing distance of 0.8m is also convenient for taking many close-up photos.
Photography is the art of light, especially portrait photography. Changes in light and shadow can give more content to the photo. How to use light to express character is a university question. And the principle of using light for fresh portraits is to avoid direct light. Whether the top light at noon or the front light directly pounding on them, they are all "killers" of fresh portraits. In sunny days, avoid direct sunlight. Of course, if the shooting time is not suitable, you can also choose the window with shutters (the famous "bird cage light" in the film "Eastern Evil and Western Poison". The structure of louvers can soften the harder light to a certain extent, and the mottled shape of light and shadow is undoubtedly an addition to a portrait photo.
If it's cloudy, the clouds turn into a huge soft mask, which seems more suitable for outdoor portrait shooting. In fact, in an indoor like a cafe, people can also be photographed through the light, such as the use of large windows to create a "channel of light" to form a beautiful contoured light effect.
Of course, after all, it is indoor, if the light is insufficient, appropriate lighting is still the first choice. Before shooting, familiarize yourself with all the "lighting resources" available in the cafe.
In the environment shown above, the model slowly approached the light indicated by the arrow and finally took the following picture.
TIPS: Turn on Sony A7RII's real-time viewing mode, WYSIWYG, and never worry about inaccurate exposure.
You may often hear people criticize their films as "unnatural". In fact, "unnatural" here means that the mood of the model is not in place. How to mobilize the mood of the model has become a compulsory course for portrait photographers. One of my simplest personal experiences is to tell the model what kind of scene they are in, rather than simply order the model to look left, go right, and go three steps forward in a circle. How to nurture emotions and get models into shape quickly is a job that requires constant accumulation of experience. Don't be impatient, communicate patiently, and you will find yourself becoming more and more comfortable. When I took the following picture, I said to the model, "Imagine having a favorite toy on top of your head and peek at it."
In addition, proper guidance is also indispensable, which will allow the model to play properly, and the model will become more and more confident. For example, when I took the following picture, I said, "You've got it, what will you do?" So the girl naturally approached it and posed the kissing POSE.
TIPS: When taking such photos, we need to pay attention to the eyes of the model, turn on the face recognition function of Sony A7RII, and set the custom key to eye-control focus, so that the camera can focus the eyes of the model automatically.
Coffee shops without props are "substandard". For beginners of portraits, just starting shooting will also encounter the embarrassing situation of not knowing where to put the hands and feet of the model. In fact, in addition to being familiar with the necessary portrait poses, in cafes, where there are treasures everywhere, we can quickly open up the situation by adapting measures to local conditions and using props skillfully. Grabbing a retro phone at random is not only limited to the action of calling, but also can interact with the phone.
Order an afternoon tea, let the model see the direction of the camera, and easily capture some facial expressions.
Even if there aren't too many props in hand, it's a good idea to find a seat directly. In the following picture, I let the model sit on the piano chair. The piano, clock, retro typewriter and desk lamp in the background all set off a fresh and retro atmosphere.
Does it have to be on the face to take a portrait? Of course not. Everyone has the most beautiful parts, so-called "details see the real chapter", to be good at discovering the shining spot on the model. In addition, in a group of portrait photographs, local close-up photos can also complement stories and pictures.
One of the most commonly used starters for close-ups is to make the parts outside the main body of the picture as virtual as possible, so that people can immediately focus on the beautiful parts you want to highlight. Hair tip, auricle, fingertip, shoulder, side face... As long as you observe carefully, you will certainly gain something. The 85mm focal length allows the photographer and the model to maintain a certain shooting distance, so that the model performance is more natural. In the aspect of virtualization, there is no need to worry about it. Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 performs exceptionally well outside the focal plane, which can provide a transitional natural virtualization experience.
What are we waiting for? Write down these four tips. Call your sister and have a relaxing coffee shop date.