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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Portrait Photographers
Matt Stanley, Student/Intern, Photographer
Newport | RI | USA | Posted: 12:35 AM on 07.28.04
->> One area that I really struggle with is posing subjects for portraits. I figure the best way to improve is to study what photographers a lot better than me are doing, so I'm just wondering where you find ideas/inspiration. Who are your favorite portrait photographers? Books/Websites? I'll take all the help I can get!

Sorry if this has been covered already. I did a search on the archives and got a ton of irrelevant threads.
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Jay Westcott, Student/Intern, Photographer
Woodbridge | VA | USA | Posted: 12:37 AM on 07.28.04
->> Robert Seale, hands down.
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 12:42 AM on 07.28.04
->> Matt- here is a link to a wonderful book in our bookshelf that just happens to feature many fine portraits by the above-mentioned Robert Seale and TSN Chief Photographer and SportsShooter.com member Albert Dickson:

Game Faces: A Collection of Our Greatest Baseball Portraits by The Sporting News
http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=76
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David A. Cantor, Photo Editor, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 12:55 AM on 07.28.04
->> In addition to Mr. Seale, from the bookshelf:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=234

A true master:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=228

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=76

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=119

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=449

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=126

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=129

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=496

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=87

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=94

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=139

http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=116
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James Parlevliet, Photographer, Assistant
West Hills | CA | USA | Posted: 2:06 AM on 07.28.04
->> All very good suggestions :-)

Another good suggestion that I learned while assisting is to look in fashion magazines. They always have fantastic looking poses in there.
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Melissa Lyttle, Photographer
Fort Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 3:01 AM on 07.28.04
->> matt,

as far as inspiration goes, check out chris buck's work --
http://www.chrisbuck.com. not only is he a great portrait photographer, but on most of the pix on his website, he has also included a story about how he got that pic. pretty incredible to see robert kennedy jr. up to his neck in freezing cold water immersed in a hole cut in a frozen pond and george mcgovern dancing around in a speedo, and then learn how chris buck got those people to do something most of us couldn't even dream up, let alone have the guts to ask.

another favorite of mine is damon winter --
http://damonwinter.com. some great, great portraits on his site. anytime i have to go do a sportrait (sports portrait), i peek at damon's stuff for a quick power surge to get my brain working. this guy takes newspaper work to a whole new level.

i also came across amanda marsalis' work recently --
http://www.amandamarsalis.com. pretty nice, simple, no frills photography, that's still edgy and really effective. i was digging her style a lot, and figure that it's something i can try to emulate in my own attempts at portraiture.

and more new talent that's blowing my mind is this guy chad ress --
http://www.chadress.com, whom i learned about in the PDN annual this year, and have bookmarked his site and continue to check back on every so often (look in the third grouping of pictures he currently has up -- there's some good ideas in there).

then of course, there are masters like walter iooss --
http://www.walteriooss.com who never cease to amaze...

-m
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer, Assistant
Fort Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 9:38 AM on 07.28.04
->> I agree with everything said so far, particularly M's recommendations of Chris Buck (genius, man ... genius!!) and Damon Winter (praying every night that I'll run into him at the soda machine); and, everyone Cantor listed (good sir, you *are* the bookshelf).

To add, check out new SS member Neil Turner's site
http://www.dg28.com for cool ideas on low-key, quick lighting. Must also give nods to Austin's Peter Yang (http://www.peteryang.com) and my new favorite Floridian, Dave "When the hell will I finish my website?!?" Cone (http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=1147).

In the end, just too many people to list -- find the ones that inspire you and move from there. Best of luck,

- totally inspired and caffeine-riddled g -
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Joe Nicola, Photographer
Fort Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 10:10 AM on 07.28.04
->> Matt,

Lot of good suggestions here. What type of portraiture are you interested in? If your goal is learn more about posing, then you are off to a good start by observing what other photographers have done. You will eventually develop your own style as you mimic certain types of work. I see a lot of inspiration in fashion magazines and it helps my work. Then again, I shoot mostly high school seniors and I want to give their portraits more of a fashion look, so I read and study "Teen Vogue," "Glamour," "Vogue" and, sometimes, "Seventeen."

I've also read a book by Lori Brystan called, "High Impact Portraits." She does a lot of work using only window light, which creates some very nice portraits and, as you might imagine, keeps the photo shoot quite simple -- the focus being on the pose, rather than adjusting lights left and right.

E-mail me and I'll send you the titles of some references that get into the nuts and bolts of posing, e.g. how to sit/stand, turn the head, foot/leg positions, composition, etc. Some of this is very simple and once you read it and compare it to what you see in books and magazines, you'll see that a lot of photographers consistently follow some very basic posing guidelines.
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Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 12:01 PM on 07.28.04
->> Damon Winter rules!

Old school early 80's Annie Leibovitz is one of my personal faves.

Arnold Newman continues to inspire me.

Matthew Rolston and Timothy White are very good.

Gregory Heisler rules too....
http://www.ba-reps.com/portfolio.cfm?n=44

Michael O'Brien - a great portrait photographer from Austin....
http://www.obrienphotography.com/portfolio/

David Lachappelle.....
http://www.davidlachapelle.com/

Also check out Andrew Eccles (he was Leibovitz's first assistant during the 80's, and you can tell....www.andreweccles.com

Also - Michael Grecco......www.michaelgrecco.com

Have fun!

Robert
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Matt Stanley, Student/Intern, Photographer
Newport | RI | USA | Posted: 12:04 PM on 07.28.04
->> You know for $25/year you'd think I could get a response a little faster than two minutes!

Thanks much everyone for all of the suggestions. It's a rainy day here so I can't wait to dig in and start studying. I should emerge in about six months! Thanks again.
-Matt
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Robert Longhitano, Photographer
Montgomeryville | PA | USA | Posted: 12:17 PM on 07.28.04
->> I'll second David Lachappelle and Michael Grecco they are two of my modern day favorits as well as Herb Ritts
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Lucas Cichon, Photographer
Colorado Springs | co | usa | Posted: 12:37 PM on 07.28.04
->> I like to look at

Greg Gorman
http://www.greggormanphotography.com/
George Hurrell
http://www.lafterhall.com/hurrell.html
and
Horst P. Horst
http://www.robertkleingallery.com/gallery/horst

photographs for interesting lighting ideas. Some may be a bit old fashion but....

Lucas
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer, Assistant
Fort Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 1:01 PM on 07.28.04
->> In between bites of a sandwich I thought of a few of my favorite "throwbacks" to add to the growing list (which keeps getting better and better!) of contemporary photographers ...

Rodchenko -
http://www.masters-of-photography.com/R/rodchenko/rodchenko.html

Steichen -
http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/steichen/steichen5.html

Not so much about lighting, just simplicity.

And what list would be complete without ...

http://www.richardavedon.com/

- g -

PS - It *finally* occurred to me why I'll never, ever run into Mr. Winter anywhere in the DF-Dub ... he lives in LA. Color ... me ... completely ... stupid. Sorry.
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Trent Nelson, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 1:20 PM on 07.28.04
->> Don't forget my fellow San Ramon native, F. Scott Schafer:

http://fscottschafer.com/portfolio.php
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Deborah Rogers, Photographer
Bethlehem | PA | USA | Posted: 1:37 PM on 07.28.04
->> Check davidburnett.com--an amazing photojournalist/sportsshooting/portrait taking kind of photographer.
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Nhat V. Meyer, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 11:03 PM on 07.28.04
->> Yousuf Karsh - he's the man (3 pages):

http://www.geh.org/ne/mismi3/karsh_sld00001.html
http://www.geh.org/ne/mismi3/karsh_sld00002.html
http://www.geh.org/ne/mismi3/karsh_sld00003.html

Arnold Newman is awesome (Seale says he inspires him!):
http://www.pdngallery.com/legends/newman/
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Nhat V. Meyer, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 11:04 PM on 07.28.04
->> correction : (Seale says he's inspired by him)

sorry.
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matt miller, Photographer
omaha | NE | United States | Posted: 11:49 PM on 07.28.04
->> arnold newman
mark seliger---www.markseliger.com
steve mccurry, from national geo, has made some impressive portraits over the years---www.stevemccurry.com

sometimes it is also nice to look at painters--john singer sargent, vermeer. and even your pics by matisse and others can maybe help you think about color.

heck. take anything that grabs you and sit down and decide why you like it. that takes the fun out of looking at images, but it will make you better.

best,
matt
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Mark Smith, Photographer
Elk City | OK | USA | Posted: 12:29 AM on 07.29.04
->> Hey Matt,

There have been a huge number of good posts giving you some places and photographers to look at. I'd add this one thing. Remember that a portrait is just that, a portrayal. The goal of a portrait is to show the essence of the subject, who they are, or at least something about them. All the poses in the world are useless if they don't relate who the subject is. It is challenging, it requires getting to know your subject, it is not more difficult than getting a great action photo, but it is difficult in so many different ways. So, find out what makes your subject unique, or what it is about them that you want to portray, and start from that point. Experiment and draw your inspiration from the originality and honesty of the other portraits you see, but don't just simply copy poses.

Anyway, that's the sermon I always give to myself.
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