Expanding to Portrait Photography

When Sharon and I decided to establish an online presence for DS Visual Art the initial thought was to provide a “Fine Art” gallery showcasing select prints on museum quality mediums.  After several conversations and much introspection we came to the conclusion that we wanted to offer so much more to our customers.

While we continue to showcase a wide selection of photographs that are available for purchase on higher end mediums such as giclee canvas, premium papers and metals we’re now offering lower cost materials as well.  In addition to that we’re expanding our services to include Senior Portraits, Families, Children, Commercial and Event Photography

You might be asking yourself “Why the change?”  That’s a great question and one that deserves an honest answer.  Regardless of the subject we have a strong passion for providing people with the highest quality images that they can proudly display in their home, office or any other location.  Being creative spirits the thought of limiting our photography to a single area seems too confining.

With the ever increasing number of “photographers” in the market these days how does our approach to portrait photography differ?  One of the primary differences is lighting.  Lighting is just as important for an outdoor location shoot as it is in the studio.  Certainly outdoors there is a huge light source called the sun but it is a challenge to control without the assistance of lights.

Most photographers will rely solely on the sun to light their subject.  Others will use handheld reflectors to either block the sun or redirect light.  While these are both options, Sharon and I feel that in order to provide the most pleasing light it requires studio lighting with the appropriate light modifiers (e.g. beauty dish, soft box, grids, etc.)

Let’s take a look at a few examples to help demonstrate the difference.

It’s clear that this image was taken outside with no lighting or reflector other than the sun lighting the right side of her face.

While the shadowing on her face certainly lends itself to adding depth, notice how the lack of light on her face makes her eyes look very shallow.

Another issue with this photo is that there is almost too much contrast in lighting between the right and left sides of her face.  This is where a reflector would have helped balance out the lighting.  Now let’s take a look at a photograph using studio lighting.

As with the previous photograph this photo was taken outdoors but a light with a soft box was used for the main light and the sun as a back light.

Placing the subjects with their back to the sun eliminated any squinting due to bright light while providing a beautiful rim light.  Notice how the subtle lighting on Mike’s green shirt helps provide separation from the grass in the background.

You’ll also notice that while there is some shadowing on their face to provide depth the lighting is more evenly distributed providing a more pleasant look.  Another thing you’ll notice is how the light helps eliminate unwanted shadows.

In the first image I talked about how the lack of light made the subject’s eyes look shallow or vacant.  Let’s look at a another photo to show how lighting helps in this area.

Let me begin saying this is not how I would normally have cropped this image, but in order to help demonstrate my point it’s cropped in very close.

As you can see from the background this was an outdoor shoot in a very shaded area.  There are two things I would like to draw your attention to.

    First notice how nicely lit the boy’s face is.  Now look at his eyes.  Those little bright spots are called “catch lights”.   Notice how much these little bursts of light bring life to his eyes as opposed to the first image with no light?
    Rest assured, when you hire DS Visual Art we will use every tool at our disposal to capture that “heirloom” quality image.  After all it’s your complete satisfaction that we are striving for.
    We invite you to visit our newly added portrait gallery along with all of our galleries at our website.

Portrait Gallery

DS Visual Art Galleries

    In closing Sharon and I would like to say “Thank you” for reading more about DS Visual Art.  We hope that we’ll have the opportunity to assist with your photography needs in the near future.
    Best regards,
    Sharon and Doug

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