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Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting: Take Memorable Shots Every Time by Sean McCormick, Catherine Jamieson

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Chapter 6. The Director's Chair

The Director's Chair

Oh yes, indeed! You're a director.

Up to this point, you've got your camera and basic lighting setup, found a model, planned a composition, and have some really excellent posing ideas. That's the "Lights! Camera!" portion. Now it's time to sit in the director's chair and yell, "Action!" What's left of the portrait process is finalizing the pose by inches and degrees, adjusting the lighting for it (usually in the same way), and pressing the shutter button.

This means customizing your approach for the individual model(s) sitting in front of you. And thankfully, the world is not full of homogenous people. There are tall and short people, wide and narrow people, lumpy and smooth people — in other words, people with every physical characteristic you can imagine. Not surprisingly, there are more ordinary folks whose features and attributes are gathered together in a pleasing but not spectacular way than people who are supermodel beautiful.

I wouldn't quite go so far as to say that anyone with a decent camera and lighting can get an acceptable photograph of a beautiful person, because that's not true. However, it is true that the chances for an acceptable photograph increase substantially with the increased photogenic quality of the subject. But we know that the world is not full of those people and that many of the ordinary variety will want a portrait. Your ...

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