Emotional Portraits

Following on from the exercise we did on Emotions in our portraits I took some photographs at a party this weekend to see if I could capture the Truth in my friends for out Truth Assignment. It was a small hen party and I started by taking a few photos of the bride-to-be and followed it up with a photograph of her with each of her friends.

Everyone was nicely relaxed after a few cocktails and I was able to begin by taking a few photos that expressed their friendship towards the bride. I then went on to ask them to express an emotion. I can’t say that they took it particularly seriously but I am pleased that I managed to get some character filled portraits that will be shared with the bride-to-be.

To take the photographs I used my home lighting kit. I set up in the kitchen against a blank wall which I lit from the right with one of the lights. I used a softbox on the other light and positioned it where there was space to the left side. It was a bit cramped but left just enough room for a bench for the ‘models’ to sit on. The sync lead and my spare sync lead failed so I had to improvise and make do with using just the modelling lights. I used my trusty Alpha A77 camera with its 18-200mm lens, I was quite close and there was a plain background that didn’t need to be in focus so I used an aperture of f4.5 and set the ISO to 800 which meant I could get away with a shutter speed of 1/20 – anything slower and I would have had trouble with a lot more blur.

I knew most of the hens at the party but some of them, not all that well. I believe everyone enjoyed the photo shoot despite not being told about it until I began rearranging the kitchen. The relaxed atmosphere of the party and enthusiastic mood of the bride-to-be was very helpful. I remembered what I had read and tried to talk to the models a lot during the shoot which, being an introvert, I didn’t find easy.

I have seen Rankin’s ‘Destroyed’ project and I plan to print out the photos below and ask the ‘hens’ to doodle, colour-in, or write messages to the bride over them. I’ll then be able to present them to the bride as a lasting reminder of her friendships.

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