Thursday, January 03, 2008

It's Technique Tuesday This Thursday - Classical Portraiture

Boy, the holidays sure have moved things around, but we should be back on schedule next week. That said, what are we talking about today? How about classical portraiture. If it was good enough for the classical painters we have been admiring for tens and hundreds of years, it should still be pertinent information for photographers today.

Today, I want to start a short series on what to look for in a classic portrait. This and an excerpt from my Digital WakeUp Call Tour DVD expanded a bit. By the way, you can get more information on the entire 4 1/2 hour 2 DVD Digital WakeUp Call set right here. Classical portraiture is an important starting point in becoming a good "people photographer." By knowing the classical basics, we can consistently do our best at creating the most flattering images for our clients. So hit the play button below and off we go...


  1. Hey Dave!
    Great post! I totally agree with the classics...too many people are forgetting about the classical portraits which in my opinion should still be part of our images.
    Thank you so much for all the tips!

  2. Hi,

    Just wanted to give you a thumbs-up on this video. Great tutorial!

    Best Regards,

  3. I want to thank you for the video session on View of the face. I believe it is a great reminder of the basics that we all fall away from. I am currently looking over Monte Zucker’s “Portrait Photography Handbook” and have found that helpful in pulling me back from the bad habits cropped into my portrait work.

  4. Thanks for the nice remarks everybody. --David

  5. Thank you!!! for an excellent and clear explanation. Just what I needed.

  6. Hi David -- came across your blog a few weeks ago and have perused some of the items. I retired 9 years ago so am not currently involved in wedding photography but have been doing some modest travel images and of course images of custom knives. Ah, ha, now you have an idea as to who is writing lol.
    Anyway, I of course viewed with interest your tutorial regarding facial views and was both surprised and pleased to here reference to myself. Thank you very much.

    I passed on to some friends you seminar in Buffalo coming up. Would love to see you and chat again and have supper. Will make sure the pepper mill is full my friend.

    I have no idea as to what the limits are for comments but will try to add just a few to your facial views. I know Monte called it 3 facial views but I feel it is actually five with a couple additional positions of the profile relating to the body.

    Let me suggest that there are 2 of the 2/3 view. One is with the view of the face with the short side of the face to camera and the other with the broad side of the face to camera.

    when relating to the profile, there are in fact two different profiles. One of each side of the face. Further, one can then choose to pose the subject in profile with the frontal portion of the body or the back portion of the body nearest the camera.
    Also, consider that when doing the profile, the main consideration to look for is the contour bones of the forehead and only show the closest one. At that point you will know that only exactly one half of the face is shown. I learned that from my wife, Phyllis who did many a profile view of the human skull as an X-Ray technologist.

    David -- you have a fabulous blog and I'm really enjoying reading your posts and going thru past posts and looking at all the neat things available to the wedding photographer.

    I use Chrome as a browser and your blog is on a tab always open.

    I hope I can comment at other times also.

    Your Friend

    Murray White

  7. Hi Murray,
    Good to hear from you. I give you credit about everytime I mention your point about the nose lining up with the corner of the eye. Boy, how long ago were we setting up that program in Toronto - I think the tables fell down that day. Anyway, good to hear from you. All the best, David

  8. Hi David,

    Thanks very much for this wonderful video - I learned a lot from it!