PLAYING MY CARDS RIGHT!
In May, I was fortunate to work again with actor George Melik, who has appeared in the highly regarded series "House of Cards." George was one of the models for our recent "Natural Light Portraiture" workshop, co-taught with Philip Brasch, as part of the Professional Photographers of America Super 1-Day program. We had a nice group of professional and aspiring professional photographers looking to learn how to create studio-quality portrait lighting using just available natural light. The advantages of these techniques is that you can create beautiful portraits with a minimum of equipment and without the extra expense of a photographic assistant. The tricky part is that you need to develop a great eye for natural light. It doesn't just happen!
The look George and I were going for in this portrait is that of a Wall Street tycoon. The portrait was taken close to dusk using natural light only. The backdrop is a local government building to give the requisite corporate ambiance. Here I think the suit, the glasses, and the tartan scarf all contribute to the look George wanted. I enjoy the beautiful color harmony with the background. That was an important consideration in my choosing this particular location. But most important was the beautiful light.
In addition to being able to identify great combinations of lighting and location, the photographer must also know how to establish rapport and guide the subject into the pose that achieves the purposes of the portrait. So the "Natural Light Portraiture" workshop also taught these skills through hands-on student work.
In this portrait, I love how George looks at me thoughtfully over the top edges of the glasses: Great gesture and terrific connection to the camera. Directors will be looking for such skills in the actors they hire. I expect this handsome headshot will result in more acting work for George. Keep an eye out for him!
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I love to capture honest portraits of people from all walks of life. For me, every person is unique, and every portrait is personal.
My Loudoun County wedding photography and portrait photography studio is conveniently located in Ashburn, Virginia, between Dulles International Airport and Leesburg, just north of the Brambleton shopping center.