Outtakes + Color Reference + Test Shots of the Year.

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Outtakes + Color Reference + Test Shots of the Year.

Photographing people doesn’t have to be all serious, I like to have a bit of fun when our location. Those of you that have had the portrait experience with me will know (and might find yourself pictured below) that it’s really not as bad as one thinks when getting portraits made of themselves. Some photographers tell corny jokes, some talk about themselves along with making fun of themselves, other try to keep it professional – sometimes too professional IMO, and others like to just be themselves while being professional  doing that one thing that they truly love, Photography.

I’ll admit, it is not always an easy getting my subjects to relax and be themselves infront of this complex digital camera, much less a pin-hole camera. A camera is a camera – the photo still carries a large amount of intimidation to many. A photo session is much like a little mini-relationship. The photographer starts building the subject’s trust from the minute the first interaction is. This could be a phone call or it could be the moment the person enters the room/building/location you are shooting at.

Not only is my X-Rite ColorChecker Passport a way to keep the color consistant in the jungle of light spectrums I encounter daily, but it always serves many other uses alike to aide in the portrait.

Straight forward reasons:

  • Provides a consistant color balance point.

Collateral reasons:

  • Shows the subject that I have a serious interest in how they look. [Insert corny joke about them looking too blue…)
  • Provides the subject a few frames to experience what’s going to happen when the picture is taken. Think about in, on a daily basis all those lights, softboxes, umbrellas, light stands, cords, lenses and camera bodies do not appear intimidating to you, but they sure can be intimidating to your subject! By snapping a few test shots with the color chart it gives the subject a few shots to relax – and also gives you the photographer time to build that repertoire with them. (BTW – that already started when you talked to them on the phone)
  • Gives them something to hide behind for the first few shots. (And more repertoire)
  • Who doesn’t like a “funny” shot? Why save the “funny” shot till the end? Shoot a few, then pending my repertoire with the client I might email them the test shot in the following week. Sometimes they end up using that on their social media with a link back to my site. Repertoire, again.
  • Keeps things “loose” in a professional manor – I have even put a younger sister or brother in charge of making sure that we get a new color chart shot at each location on a High School Senior shoot. Think about it, instead of them sitting in the car, moaning about how much they do not want to be there – or on the other side  them asking when can I have MY picture taken? Give them a responsibility. Again, repertoire.

That all said, here are some of the best color chart test shots of the year! A BIG THANKS to everyone for such a great 2012. I look forward to an exciting 2013 and what new successes and challenges that it brings.


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