This past week we had an assignment, the only specific assignment we were given, and it was portraits. I asked to make sure what he was looking for, and indeed he wanted more than candids, he wanted the interaction with a subject who knows they are getting their picture taken. It didn’t have to be people, though.

I have a lot of portraits of animals, and I get more every week when I’m at the sanctuary. I decided to push myself, to take portraits of a person for this assignment. The thought of regular portraits didn’t interest me, and are still perhaps a little intimidating to me. I have been thinking about this over the past couple weeks, and I’m wondering if my mild face blindness contributes to this. I just can’t picture how I’d arrange people to capture their personality. Maybe if I gave it a try I’d see how it would work, and I do have some plans to try to do more portraits, but for this past week at least I went a slightly different route – I asked my yoga teacher if she’d be interested in a photo shoot. She said it sounded like fun, and so we found a time we could fit it in, and had a 40 minute session.

I lucked out in many ways that the lighting at the studio, though not great, was still enough with just a little help from a lamp I brought with me. My yoga instructor had a great understanding of what would work well in photos, which might be somewhat instinctive, or perhaps she’s studied design in the past. All I know is that she made it easy – I had only to focus on the technical aspects, the rest was all Sarah!

Sarah concentrating

Sarah smiling

sarah, variation of crow

sarah, variation of side plank

I’d hoped to get some feedback – instructions or hints on how to do better. I was actually very happy with these, but certain I could improve. No one had anything to suggest – not my instructor, not the other students, not even when I said I’d been hoping to get some hints! The instructor said he couldn’t see anything he’d do differently – the lighting, the cropping, the poses themselves, or the colors (already at least half the list is Sarah!), he thought it was all good and worked really well.

So. It is positive and negative. I am still sure these could be improved, yet it was a big compliment for me to step out on a limb (for me) and do well enough that no one had anything that they could say to do better.

And I had one last portrait, which had nothing to do with yoga!

heidi close up

One of my fellow students said that this looked professional, which I thought was pretty cool. Though I know that there’s not a ton of sanctuary cow pictures out there, so it isn’t like I’m being compared to the vast majority of photographers when she makes that statement! Still, it was nice.

And it validated my choice of bringing this picture to class, instead of one that wasn’t quite such a close crop. I know it is at least partially personal taste, and others might prefer to see her whole face and horns and the rest.