Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


I Got Good Portraiture Chops

Most of you know me as a landscape photographer. It's where I devote the majority of my photographic energy, I'm very skilled and experienced at it and it's where my passion lies. But you might not know that I used to shoots portraits professionally. You also might not know that I've coached dozens of students on portraiture photography - including several that now do it professionally. And what you probably don't know is...

...I still got it, baby.

There's an awesome group based out of LA called GroupShoot that organizes fun photo shoots between photographers and models. Basically, a bunch of photographers get together with a bunch of models in a cool location, shoot all day, then share the results. There's no pressure, no fees and no stress. It's organized by some friends of mine and is open to all who are interested. Click the GroupShoot link above to learn more about it.

I attended the most recent GroupShoot meet this past Saturday at Orcutt Ranch in the San Fernando Valley and got some great portraits to share with you. Keep in mind none of these have ever set foot in Photoshop. I tweaked the levels and added a vignette to a lot of these using Aperture, but that's it. No airbrushing, no dodging or burning, no plugins or filters and, oh yeah, no artificial lighting. This is all natural light with just good technique and a sharp eye.

The following set of pictures are my personal favorites from the day. I really had a lot of fun playing with the backlight and letting the sun peek through just a bit between the models. It created a gorgeous glow around and behind them. This type of extreme back lighting is difficult to shoot without proper training in photography and without the full knowledge of how to use your camera. And these bad boys are practically straight out of the camera. All I did was boost contrast a smidge' in post.

That sunburst coming through the female model's hair on the left (Shannon) was achieved very carefully and all-naturally without filters. Gotta love that star shape.

If you want to learn how to take great portraits, too, check out my private lessons.

Jacqueline Corcos
Kelan Liparoto
Suzie Riemer
Katya Prinsterr
Stephanie Schafer
Jerome Garot
Shannon Rogers