Do you have an emotional connection to the landscape or subject in front of you? I've found that I'm most focused and successful when I'm passionate about the subject. For me, it's landscape; for you, it could be portraits, botanicals, abstracts, or long-exposure architecture.
Black & white should be used to remove distractions from your image and help bring more focus to your subject. A black & white portrait can help focus on your subject’s emotion, as well as eliminate color patterns that take attention away from them. The key is to use black & white to help communicate your vision more efficiently than a color image would do.
When it comes to soft light, size matters! Yep, I went there. Hey, come on, who can resist a good cheesy photo joke? Not I! But seriously, its true—when you want soft light, the larger and broader the light source used, the softer the quality of the resulting light.
To re-create the classic Hollywood self-portrait, we will first analyze and reverse-engineer some portraits from that time and style. Next, we’ll choose what kind of lights and modifiers to use. Then, finally, we’ll position those lights and take the shot to see what results we get.
Dialing in color doesn’t have to be as painstaking as it seems. Remember to start with a color profile that looks closest to how you want your images to look. Then the rest will fall in place in terms of controlling brightness, tonal recovery, and white balance.
I really believe that learning to properly use a bounced flash will give you a much greater degree of freedom when you are on a shoot. In venues that allow for it, you will be instantly prepared for any lighting condition and will no longer be shackled to the off-camera flash or sent scrambling for one to mount to the camera.
I find myself thinking in black & white. When creating a monochromatic portrait, I keep in consideration many specific elements such as composition, styling, editing, and lighting. Everything needs to be considered in such a way that it will work out in black & white.
When working with your clients, there are a few things that might seem elementary and like common sense, and yet they are critical to your overall success: being upbeat and friendly, being professional, being on time, being prepared, being well-dressed, having a photographic vision or direction (even when following a creative approach), and knowing your equipment inside and out.
There are rules in photography, and there are rules in lighting as a part of photography. However, when you're photographing conceptual work or fine art, you are largely expected to make your own rules. Only you know what is in your own head, and you have to bend any rules that stand in the way of making that vision a reality.
Unless you are in a different business than I am, most of your bridal photography clients aren't going to be supermodels. They won't have years of experience giving the camera what it wants. However, every single one of them wants to look like the best version of herself on her wedding day and in all those gorgeous photos you are taking of her.