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Maria asks…

Help with portrait photography?

I have a Canon EOS 400d (or a Rebel XTI for people outside the UK) I also have a Canon speedlite 430ex flash to go with it. My friend has asked me to take some portrait shots of her and I have never attempted portrait photography before, so any help would be appreciated. This is a bit of a general question, so it doesn’t matter if it’s a general answer, i was hoping you would tell me your knowledge that you’ve gained from experience.thanks

administrator answers:

Shooting the flash directly at the person from above the camera is not a very flattering look and often causes red eye… Either use a bracket and place the light to the side or use a diffuser (the Gary Fong Lightsphere is great).

If you are shooting the person indoors, make sure he/she is at least 5 feet away from the wall so you don’t cast a harsh shadow behind the subject.

A gold reflector creates a beautiful hair light.

Betty asks…

UK photography market value?


Where can I get some data on the UK photography market and its value? I am particularly interested in portraits and similar.

Many thanks!

administrator answers:

Ring some professionals and ask for their rates or quotes. Try the yellow pages or the internet,

Susan asks…

photography portrait figure tips?

I have retired and taking up portrait figure and glamour photograophy. Greatful for any tips as I shall not have any studio type lighting. Also any info on where to find models in Kent UK. tHANKS

administrator answers:

Well that should be interesting – doing portraits & glamour without any supplementary lighting.

Sorry but if you’re going to do this you’re going to need some form of off camera flash – speedlights are your best bet as they are lightweight & portable. You can shoot indoors, in a studio or other location or use them as additional light outdoors.

You need to learn about exposure & lighting for start – I suggest you read the Strobist blog (Lighting 101);

a couple of speedlights (manual ones) and some triggers will set you back about £100. A softbox or umbrella & a lightstand about another £45.

There is a Kent Strobist group that meet & shoot together;

they will know some models/MUA’s and will be good to attend and practice your lighting skills.

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