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Anatomy of a Photoshoot by Someone Who Has No Clue About Them: Yuko at the Fushimi Inari Shrine
Yuko at the very orange Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社), Kyoto Japan -- Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 90mm — 1/500 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yuko
at the very orange Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社), Kyoto Japan

The quick portrait of Zak Braverman I did the other day reminded me that I hadn't written yet about a photoshoot Paul Barr and I did in April, of a mutual friend, Yuko.

I've been trying to get better with portraiture for about a year, but my limited experience so far has been mostly with guys. Last April I did do a photoshoot with a photogenic married couple, including some nice shots of the wife; with that under my belt, a few days later Paul and I met Yuko at the dazzling Fushimi Inari Shrine in eastern Kyoto.

“Uh, Okay, What on Earth do I Do ?” photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
“Uh, Okay, What on Earth do I Do?”
photo by Paul Barr

Yuko has a natural and infectious smile, but had no experience in front of the camera — only slightly less than Paul and I behind it — so things started off as one might expect: stiff as a board.

Smile somewhat forced; it's a start, but we can do much better -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Smile
somewhat forced; it's a start, but we can do much better

I knew I had to give her time to get used to us and our lenses pointed at her, so the location was great for letting us explore as a group, to alternate between being silly and trying real portraiture. I have no clue what I'm doing with portraiture except to try to get the subject to forget, even if for a fleeting moment, about the camera. In that short instant, perhaps the real person is exposed, and therein lies the shot. Or so I imagine.

With that in mind, I don't expect much at the beginning... we'll try poses and such, but we're still warming up to each other, so I expect nothing to come of them but a step toward something better later in the session.

Having Fun Together -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Having Fun Together

Part of my trying to make her at ease in front of the camera is to be silly myself in front of the camera, so at one point I demonstrated (in front of the passing crowds) the kind of pose I was looking for.

“Sort of Like This” photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34mm — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
“Sort of Like This”
こういう風に
photo by Paul Barr

Of course I felt supremely silly, but it's only fair, since I'm asking her to pose the same way. (Though to be fair to me, a beautiful woman posing as a beautiful woman is not as silly as a geeky man posing as a beautiful woman.)

Yuko's Version now we're starting to get somewhere -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Yuko's Version
now we're starting to get somewhere
Opposite Side -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 170mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Opposite Side
Team Effort showing the results gives her confidence photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 11400 — map & image datanearby photos
Team Effort
showing the results gives her confidence
photo by Paul Barr

To help demonstrate how fun and easy this all was, when I saw a couple (mid-60s?) in the crowd watching us with big smiles, I turned to them and said “now your turn!”, and posed them as a couple in the same way I had posed Yuko, and photographed them with their camera. Everyone had fun, and perhaps they got a nice shot out of it. And Yuko became more comfortable both with me and as a model, I hope.

Paul's Turn -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul's Turn
Just Being Silly sheds that camera-shy feeling -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Just Being Silly
sheds that camera-shy feeling
More Silly Fun she'd taken a silly shot of Paul and me -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
More Silly Fun
she'd taken a silly shot of Paul and me
Less Silly -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Less Silly
Playful -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Playful
Futile the reality was a serious “orange”, so color balance seems quaint and unrealistic -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Futile
the reality was a serious “orange”, so color balance seems quaint and unrealistic
Real it's not much of a shot, but I feel a sense that I'm there ( of course, I was there , but I mean from the point of view of a viewer ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Real
it's not much of a shot, but I feel a sense that I'm there
( of course, I was there, but I mean from the point of view of a viewer )

Another technique I thought might help her feel at ease in front of the camera was to have her take my camera for some shots.

Me photo by Yuko -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Yuko Hashimoto, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Me
photo by Yuko
Yuko, Pro Photographer photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Yuko, Pro Photographer
photo by Paul Barr
Getting my Zoolander on photo by Yuko -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Yuko Hashimoto, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting my Zoolander on
photo by Yuko
More Silliness -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
More Silliness

With that silliness out of the way, I went the opposite direction to “pensive”, perhaps about a far-away love...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos

And then we move on.

Yet More Silliness Paul is a fun person in most any situation -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Yet More Silliness
Paul is a fun person in most any situation
More Poses -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 45mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
More Poses

This particular section of path was not photogenic, but I paused here for more shots because it kept the flow going. The goal was not “good results”, but another step on the way to having her feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Three Foxes fox statues are plentiful at Inari shrines -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Three Foxes
fox statues are plentiful at Inari shrines
Grrr... or whatever sound foxes make -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Grrr...
or whatever sound foxes make
Incomming Message from a friend who knew she'd be here doing this -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Incomming Message
from a friend who knew she'd be here doing this
Paul's Turn Again -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul's Turn Again

Yuko was finally starting to get comfortable, and so were we, so the photos steadily improved.

Continued here...


Comments so far....

It’s nice of you to document the experience, it’s quite interesting and entertaining to read. Out of curiosity, did you do any special processing on the shot titled “Me”? All colors besides orange look somewhat washed out, and I was wondering if you had selectively desaturated them for special effect.

No special desaturation…. they’re just washed out due to having set the exposure for the shadows I was standing in. And other than a few leaves, there wasn’t much additional color anyway, which looks unnaturally uncolorful next to the unnaturally colorful gates. I guess. —Jeffrey

— comment by David K. on June 19th, 2013 at 8:12am JST (10 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

The modesty and honesty in your blog posts about your portraiture learning quest are supremely refreshing. Its funny that you mention Zoolander in this post because many a photographer would have false-humbly posted these photos with a very Zoolander-esque atttitude and say something like, “Oh yeah, I was just fooling around and these gorgeous shots just kind of happened…. I dunno’ I’m gifted I guess.“. -Its very rewarding and educating to read your honest opinions about your work.

Save for that turned up collar, that shot Yuko took of you is nice. :-p (Beginner’s luck and your practice in front of the camera, I’m sure.)

Using those bright orange Torii gates was a great idea to allow your model something to fixate on since its not easy to get in front of a camera.

— comment by Ron Evans on June 19th, 2013 at 11:49pm JST (10 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink
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