High, Mid, and Low Key Portraits
The picture editor of a weekend broadsheet publication has requested three portraits, using high, mid, and low key lighting. In addition, the article’s layout requires a close (head and shoulders), mid (waist up) and full body portrait.
- high, mid, and low-key lighting styles
- model positioning
I’m looking primarily at the weekend supplements of The Times, as well as examples of fashion portraits by known photographers.
My favourite portrait of the three is the low key close up, which I didn’t expect to be as it was the one I was least enthusiastic about. But I think it turned out to have the most impact. The subject carries a lot of inner strength, and I think it is the low key shot that shows this the most. I had a really good rapport with the subject and my various assistants, and I think I executed the images well. I think the images fit the brief.
Areas for Improvement
I really struggled with the studio portraiture brief. I enjoyed researching images, and my confidence in the studio eventually improved, but I had a lot of difficulty in physically making use of the studio space, which limited me quite a bit. Through no fault of the college or my peers, I felt that I did not have enough time in the studio to do myself or the brief justice, however I do feel that the development of my confidence and my competence is evident in the Low Key image, which was the last one I shot. I should have spent longer researching the lighting plans and planning the shoots and styling, rather than just hoping for the best when I turned up. I didn’t have a structure or a visualisation of what I wanted. I was really bad at writing things down as I went along, so my lighting plans were drawn retrospectively.
Evaluation of Learning
Aside from the technical competencies that I have improved in the studio, I think I really started to get a feel for positioning the model and communicating my ideas. I still need to work on visualising and planning a shoot, and on seeing it through to the end, but this brief has been a really good way of learning that lesson.