“This was a portrait session set up to document the relationship between two identical twin girls – Zoe & Zelda. The session was shot in the beautiful old town of Jerome, Arizona as well as Red Rock Crossing in Sedona.”
Lisa’s Photography Tip:
These little girls were absolutely amazing to work with! It was such a joy to document their relationship with each other. Two things that are absolutely imperative to me in any photo session is lighting, and connecting with my subjects. Nothing can kill the feel of a portrait session faster than not taking the time to connect with or get to know your subjects, and bad, poorly thought out lighting.
In this session, I utilized a lot of back lighting to highlight the twins’ gorgeous, long red hair. You really need to wait until the last hour or so before sunset (or the first hour after sunrise) for this type of lighting to be the most effective. If you do it too early in the afternoon, you will end up with a large blown spot on top of your subject’s head as well as the dreaded raccoon eyes – shadows in the eye sockets caused by the high position of the sun. Once the sun is low enough on the horizon, back lighting can really illuminate your subject and help separate them from the background.
One problem that photographers often encounter when using back lighting is haze, or sun flare. To avoid haze, I will make sure that I am not shooting directly into the sun with my lens, and I will try to filter the light through something. In this session, I filtered it through the trees that were in the background. Sometimes, haze can add a beautiful warm glow – don’t be scared to experiment! Move around and try different vantage points and locations and see what you get!
The second thing that I think is absolutely essential in any portrait session is taking the time to develop a good rapport with your subjects. This is especially important when working with children. I cannot stress taking your time, going slow, and talking to and getting to know your littlest subjects enough – it is crucial! Don’t be afraid to leave your dignity at the door – I will do anything to get a silly smile, as well as a good serious look from the children I work with. I provide light guidance and let them do the rest. If you are patient, you are bound to get a few magical moments.
Since these were identical twin sisters, I suggested that they ‘hold hands’, ‘tell your sister a secret’ and ‘give each other a hug’….the rest was all them. I just sat back and documented their beautiful relationship with one another.
You are bound to get some well lit photos with genuine, well connected expressions.
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