The Road to Professionalism

Long time no post. School = my life. But don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my photography or this blog. I really haven’t had time for either until earlier today when I got to spend my afternoon taking fall portraits for my friend Felicita.

I’ve been prepping myself for a busy season of senior portrait sessions, and though Felicita’s not a senior just yet, there’s never any harm in getting the extra practice. My goal: to begin perfecting the art of senior portraits. In the 3 and a half years that I have really been into photography, luck has been one of the driving forces behind some of, what I would consider, “my best works.” The pieces that have gotten the most praise and given me the most courage were pure accidents. Just testing the camera settings or trying to find a better angle. These were the things that got me through.

At first.

But as I continued to practice, I became slightly more calculated. I was not much too keen on posing my models or telling them what to do, but the more shoots I had, the more common it became to position and suggest. And now? Well, I still hate directing people in their movement, but I’m much more apt to do it now than ever before. I actually look for ways to take a beautiful photograph. Grant it, much of it is still a very natural thing, something that just comes easily with very little effort. The results? Better, more professional looking photographs. See example below:

This isn’t perfect. The leaf that extends across the whole photo and the yellow leaf on top of that bother me. (Sure, I could use Photoshop to remove that, but I am so much of a natural person [in every aspect of my life from my typical no makeup policy to my inconsistent attempts to put chemicals in my hair to avoid my natural dreaded, nappy headed ringlet afro] that I currently never use Photoshop to cover up blemishes and imperfections.) But this isn’t an accident. I feel like this is one of the first steps to more professional styled photography (you know, right after the fact that I received a brand new digital camera for my birthday that allows me to take such pictures).

As if that wasn’t enough, in the way of senior styled portraits, I have been studying up on techniques and Googling examples and thinking back to my own high school portraits. We’re talking about the wind-blown hair:

The black and white photos:

The headshots:

The playful photos:

(Yes, that really does say “Hoe of KY.” Our hypothesis: A prostitute donated the money for that drain…and demanded that it be named in her honor…)

And of course, the truly breathtaking:

This photo really is perfection (to me anyway). No accident. No luck. Just the first step on the road to professionalism.


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