Review a portrait sequence

For this exercise I am to concentrate fully on the person’s expression and gesture or pose if they vary. Along the way I am to assess the session frame by frame, deciding on a sequence and directing my subject.

My subject started off quite serious for the first shot when I asked her to look into the camera. So I then suggested a smile, which then turned into a laugh! I went on to form a sequence as though my subject had received some surprising news and asked what she would do next. Result was – text her news, received bad response, had an idea, pondered and then finally relaxed because we had run out of ideas! So I stopped shooting.

Next  I reviewed the images on my computer and rated them as not good, acceptable, good and best single shot.

I must say that I took these photographs in a work office setting and was not able to control my lighting. I relied on natural light and am disappointed with the colours in all the shots – even after post processing them in Lightroom. I need to work more on my lighting techniques – something I am still battling with!

Not good

2-1100093   2-1100089   2-1100084   2-1100082  2-1100071

Not good because? The first shot is unnatural and I can feel the tenseness of my subject, this was the first shot and sensed she was not relaxed at all. The next two are most unflattering due to my camera angles and poor lighting (particularly the second shot, close up). The last shot I took before my subject was ready and she appears stiff and is pulling a strange face! There is some blurring on the first, fourth and last shots.


2-1100090   2-1100086   2-1100085   2-1100072   2-1100078   Acceptable because? There are some interesting expressions and I have shown how I have relaxed my subject, creating more natural poses. The last three shots would have been good with better lighting.


Good because? I have encouraged my subject to be herself and therefore created some expressions and poses that tell the reader more about the person. One gets the sense of a colourful character with an outgoing personality.

Best single shot


Julia is very animated and exuberant, so I feel that this image displays her true character. It makes for an unusual fun portrait. I am happy with the composition in the frame, in particular the pointing finger. The light and shadow emphasise the relevant areas of the subject.