Portraits by R.L. Charpentier

Portrait photography is something I never thought I’d get into.  But after becoming co-owner of a gallery in Prescott I received a lot of requests to do portraits for people visiting the gallery.  Fact is, I knew nothing about portraits.  Landscapes?  Yeah no problem.  But portraits?

They scared the tar out of me!

You’ve got to be very confident with your skills as a photographer to set out and take pictures of people.  See, unlike landscapes, people can talk back to you.  And if you botch their images you’ll know about it.  If you’re the $50 per session photographer, maybe they won’t say too much as your price is far too low for the expertise required…….

Starting in 2009 through 2011 I learned everything there was about portrait photography.  Off camera flash, working in Manual mode the whole time, studio work, and shooting outdoors.  And in the end, I started offering portrait work.  It only took a few years of learning to feel confident about it.

Today I’m extremely comfortable shooting people (heh).  A lot of my job when doing portraits is to make sure my subjects feel comfortable.  When I didn’t know what I was doing I couldn’t make the subject feel comfortable.  But now that I have a great handle on it.  Yeah, you’re going to look great if I take your picture!  That’s a promise.

P.S.  To the photographers reading this.  Seriously guys, if you’re going to shoot portraits you’d better “bring it!”  And if you tell your clients, “I only shoot natural light photography,” start learning all of the techniques.  Folks are learning that’s code for not knowing how to light them.