May 152015

Photo copyright Sydney Roberts

This inspiration behind this image comes from trying to create a unique portrait. I dislike portraits that are the average ‘graduation photo’ or ‘senior portrait.’ I like the idea of capturing pure emotion and not just a cheesy smile. In order to get a portrait that portrays a genuine emotion or feeling I like to take a bunch of photos. For this photo I posed the model and started taking photos that turned out to be the average image you would expect. After a while she got more comfortable in front of the camera and I was able to capture a relaxed and genuine expression. In this instance the model is someone that I know well so it did not take long for her to be comfortable. However, when I wake photos of people that are less comfortable in front of the camera I find it is best to be myself and not act super professional in order to capture images that do not feel fake.

As for the technical aspects of this image I used a canon rebel t3i body and the 18-55mm kit lens. I also used a canon speedlite flash and a reflector. I used the reflector to bounce light off of the sun from underneath her face to remove harsh shadows. I used the flash on camera to fill in her face. The focal length in this image was at 55mm. The shutter speed is set at 1/200 with an f-stop of 5.6. The ISO is set at 100 so that I could capture a lot of details. Post-production is done in  Adobe Lightroom. I have desaturated most of the colors to give the eyes more vibrance.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!