outdoor portraits

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Well folks there comes a time in every photographers life where he or she will need to get a photo taken. Naturally as photographers we don’t particularly relish this strange turn of events.

First off we usually don’t like to get our photos taken…that’s why we decided on a life behind the lens, if we did we would’ve become models instead.

Second, being photographers we are naturally very critical of photos especially photos of ourselves and that makes us a bad subject to photograph. It’s kind of like how doctors don’t always make the best patients.

What follows is a recount of the events of just one photographer’s journey to get his photo taken…me.

I found myself in the position of needing a new headshot/portrait for my website. It had been quite some time since the last one was taken and it definitely needed updating. But who would I trust with this monumental task?

For some time I’ve been mentoring various local photographers and I decided to call one of my talented proteges, Tatiana Flowers-Robinson.

Tatiana and I have been working together for many months now and I thought this would be the perfect challenge for her to undertake.

I recall she was very excited when I texted her about it, this seemed strange to me, perhaps she didn’t quite understand what she was getting herself into, being new to the photography game and all.

We decided that she would meet me at a local park…I recognized her immediately as she came up the walk

"Hi Tatiana"

“Hi Tatiana”

We exchanged pleasantries and set up the equipment. I told you photographer’s don’t make easy photo subjects. We’ll just say old habits are hard to break, so when Tatiana said “Let’s begin”, I immediately picked up my camera and started shooting her.

I started photographing

I started photographing

“What are you doing?!!” she exclaimed loudly. Naturally I was taken aback by her excited demeanor but not startled and remained focused and calm, as we photographers are trained to do.

Tatiana reminded me that this was my photo shoot not hers. Silly me…I had forgotten all about it. Perhaps it was wishful thinking, as I said before photographers don’t like to get their photos taken.

“Ok let’s get this over with” I said. And with that I again started taking photos…but this time of a different subject.

Scott taking selfies

Scott taking selfies

“Wait, wait, wait” Tatiana said emphatically. “Now what are you doing?” “Taking some selfies of course”, I replied. “You did say this was my photo shoot and selfies are all the rage with the kids these days”.

I could tell by the look of confusion on her face that I had lost her. After what seemed like an endless pause, her staring at me with her mouth wide open, she said “are you insane??” Now I may be paraphrasing a bit here but you get the general idea.

She continued to explain that she thought the whole reason she was here was that she was going to take my photo for me.

Her take the photo for me? I’ll admit the idea sounded just a little strange.

You shoot photos of me?

You shoot photos of me?

I thought about it for a minute. She did come all this way, and I trust in her skills. After all we had been working together for a while and she is shaping up to be a great photographer.

“Sure, why not?” I exclaimed, “that’s so crazy it might just work!” Tatiana had me try a few poses. You know the usual stuff…stand this way, look here, stop picking your nose. Finally she cried out “perfect…that’s a wrap!” The finished photo appears below.

I actually really liked it, can you imagine? I think she did a great job if I do say so myself…wonder where she learned how to shoot like that. What do you think?

"That's a wrap!"

“That’s a wrap!”

As you can see we did end up having a lot of fun with this shoot. It’s certainly a different perspective being in front of the lens for a change.

A very special thank you to Tatiana Flowers-Robinson for all the great shots and lending me her camera to use as a prop. Please do check out some of her photos on her website at tatianaflowers.wordpress.com you’ll be glad you did!

Tatiana taking my photo

Tatiana taking my photo

For those interested in the lighting setup, we used the lovely natural light of the setting sun supplemented with our typical location lighting of a speedlight mounted on a portable light-stand.

The speedlight was gelled with a 1/2 CTO filter to match the natural light but was bare with no modifiers except for the supplied diffuser cap.

If you’d like to hear more about this lighting setup please check some of our behind the scenes articles from our 2014 Calendar shoot earlier in the blog posts.

Scott Dengrove is a professional photographer from the NYC area. Scott’s work has been featured in many national photography competitions and published in several nationally circulated magazines and publications. In addition, his work can currently be seen in 2 exhibits at Cosi® restaurants in New York and Connecticut and a traveling exhibit entitled “America: Coast to Coast”. For more information, and to see more of Scott’s work visit his website at www.dengrovestudios.com and connect with him on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dengrovestudios follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dengrovestudios