In people photographs, you should never underestimate the importance of the background, even for close-up pictures.
Maria probably is the most photogenic person I’ve ever had in from of my camera.
The Innocent Railway Tunnel in Edinburgh is one of my favourite locations for photo shoots. This locations has lines, shapes, textures and with the proper white balance setting on the camera, colour. In other words, shooting at the Innocent Railway Tunnel allows you to incorporate a lot of the elements of design in your photographs.
Since we’ve done a number of photo shoots together, I trust Maria do give me many different expressions for each set up.
I had promised Maria that we would shoot there someday, and after a longish wait, it finally happened. Since it was rather late in the evening and the place was therefore relatively quiet, I could really work my subject and try as many poses and framings as possible.
Finally, a more serious expression showcasing Maria’s blue eyes.
So I tried vertical as well as horizontal frames, and symmetric (see below) versus asymmetric (see above) compositions.
I had to use the symmetry of the location to frame my model Maria for a whole series of picture. This photograph was taken with a long telephoto (400mm focal length).
My 80-400mm zoom lens allowed me to quickly shoot quite a few variations on the composition above. Starting with a close-up and then zooming out for a couple of different looks. Note that I also had to ‘zoom with my feet’ but there was no need to interrupt the flow of the shoot by having to change lenses.
Zooming out allowed me to show more of the interesting background.
I also had to take a full length photograph to complete the series.
Close-up, medium shot and full length to complete the series of vertical compositions.
While a vertical composition feels more natural with the model and background as in the pictures above, it is always good practice to find a horizontal composition of the same subject.
Similar pose as above but framing the subject horizontally gives one an extra option.
We did poses with and without the jacket on, so it was time to try a variation without the hat on.
Note that for all of these variations, the model and camera only had to move a few meters. A great location like the Innocent Railway Tunnel can give you many options.