Exercise- Review a Portrait Sequence

Set up a portrait session in a formal, structured way, so that you have a consistent setting and framing. Plan to take a considerable number of images in order to explore all the possibilities and fine nuances of expression- at least 20. The essential element in this project is that you concentrate fully on the person’s expression, accessing it from frame to frame in order to select what you consider to be the best of the sequence.

For this image, I set up a white background, and decided to use a mother and son as models. The little boy was just one and a half, so I had my hands full with this session! This exercise asks that we write down at what time we decided to stop shooting, and why. For this specific sequence, I had decided that I had taken a lot of images, and after reviewing them, there was a potential few good solid shots. I also could not continue shooting, as the little boy got a little fed up and began wondering around the set. This then marked the end of this particular sequence for me. It is very important not to push one’s subjects, as it is important that they have an enjoyable photo shoot experience that is as easy and comfortable as possible. This is what will bring clients back time and time again. A stressful and awkward photo shoot in which the photographer pushes their subject to get the poses they require will never result in a comfortable and pleasant session.

I opened the sequence of images in my browser and reviewed them for a second time. I then used my computer software to rate the images from one to five stars.

1-2 stars: Not good

3 stars: Acceptable

4 stars: Good

5 stars: Best single shot

I found that this later review differed slightly from my initial thoughts at the time of shooting. My best single shot was the same, however some other shots that appeared good on my camera’s screen where slightly blurred when reviewed on a larger computer screen. This showed me that it is always best, if possible, to take as many shots as one can in order to achieve that one ‘great’ shot. It also emphasised that one cannot rely on the camera’s screen completely, but must use it simply as a rough guide.

Upon rating the images, I narrowed them down to all photos with a 4 star rating or higher. This provided me with six images.


From this I then edited all images and made an informed decision upon further reviewing of the edited images. I decided on the following image, which happened to be the image which I felt was the strongest upon initial viewing at the time of shooting. The background is not as white as I would like; as I do not have any professional lighting as of yet. Therefore the scene was taken in a conservatory, using natural daylight to try and provide as much light as possible.

IMG_4895 (2)


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