How to shoot studio portraits

David Ziser, who IMHO, is one of the best wedding photographers shooting today has posted a terrific video on how to shoot a portrait using simple studio lighting which anyone can afford and figure out. I hope David doesn’t mind but I grabbed this shot from his Digital Pro Talk Blog (this is a “must” read by pros and amateurs alike. I never miss what David has to say on his blog.) Called Summer Mrmories this is a typical David Ziser wedding photograph. David always finds interesting ways to portray his subjects. The backgrounds are squeaky clean. The skin tones are absolutely perfect. He tends to use colour sparingly and his subjects always exhibit some emotion into the image.

If I had a daughter and she was getting married, David Ziser would be a the top of my list.

The video is on YouTube and is from the Westcott booth at WPPI 2010. Warning: The audio is awful BUT this is live demo at a massive trade show and the content makes up for the technical faults which aren’t David’s fault. This video was done by somebody which a camcorder (You can tell as the light adjusts automatically and the camera is on autofocus. A pro video camera wouldn’t do this. A pro camera starts around $4,000 and a decent camcorder $500.) and unless you know how to use a camcorder it can be troublesome especially in tough shoots like this one.

David has a wonderful way about him. He works really well with his young model and using one flash into an inexpensive umbrella he gets great results which you can see on a monitor he has setup at the show.

When you’ve finished viewing David’s presentation have a look at the other videos listed below that come from WPPI.

Also, David’s got a new book out on wedding photography that’s probably the best one out there right now. Called Captured By the Light it’s available at local book stores or from David directly.


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