3 TIPS FOR MOODIER PORTRAITS
Houston film photographer Christine Gosch
This one made my heart sing.
I’ve been loving experimenting with + incorporating moodier tones within my work, so when Erin Rhyne (handmade hair accessory extraordinaire) showed me the piece she wanted to photograph and told me about her vision of a stormy, sultry shoot, I was so in. Erin aligned all of the moving parts for the shoot and I was so grateful to work with a wonderful team on this! Also, I just feel like it needs to be said: RIP to this studio space, Fill In The Blank. One of my two favorite studios in the Houston area whoch closed in the past couple of months. Wah. Photographer friends: if you have any other great studio spaces in the downtown area available for rent, please let me know! I’m looking for a new regular shooting space!
Back to the matter at hand. In case you wanted to experiment with darker tones, here are:
3 surefire tips to help you achieve a moodier look in portraits
Choose a dark setting or dark background
You obviously want to be sure that your subject is being lit by beautiful light. The background can be lighter by shedding some light on it, or you can go darker with the background (think Dutch oil painting, dark) by ensuring that only your subject is lit. You can avoid light on your background by limiting your light source to only the subject, and moving the subject further away from your background stand.
Utilize lighting situations with lots of shadows
In the photos with the dark background, we utilized split lighting (with a touch of Rembrandt), both known for their use & appearance of shadows. The light source is coming straight from the side of your subject, giving your subject half a face filled with shadows with split lighting. Rembrandt lighting leaves a signature upside down triangle of light on the cheek of your subject, and you can achieve that by turning your subject eeeevvvvveeerrr so slightly towards your light source. It’s a cool thing to see in action.
Get some motion in your shots
Run, dance, sway, get those limbs moving! A little action shot and motion blur always makes me feel like an image tells more of a story & gives it life. We also used some material here for a textural & flowy feel, which also gave some of the shots the motion characteristic.
If you guys ended up at the end of this post, thank you! If you use any of these tips, I’d love to see your images! Happy shooting, all :)