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Looking Back At The Mistakes I Made As A Portrait Photographer

As a Product and Portrait Photographer, or in general, as an artist, I often find myself looking back at the pictures I Shot years ago.

Most of the time, I do this when I feel I’m not good enough. Which I believe, is a doubt many of you would’ve had at some point in your lives.

If you’re new here, here’s a reel I posted introducing myself as a Photographer and a short glimpse at my work.

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A post shared by Garima Bhaskar (@garimashares)

It is important to acknowledge the fact that you know more than you did before but you still have a long way to go.

Learning never stops.

A month back, I stumbled upon and enrolled myself in a Flatlay Photography course by Sandra Holmes (@sandraholmes). I’ve learned so much about composition, color theory, and the ideation journey through it.

There is always going to be someone who is better than you at your job. This shouldn’t demotivate you, but motivate you to keep learning new things each day.

Only a fool thinks that they’re the smartest person in the room.

Does your camera gear affect your creativity?

Absolutely not.

Very often, I come across DMs in which people appreciate my work on Instagram. But it is followed by them asking which camera I use.

It is understandable that many think a full-frame/mirrorless/expensive camera guarantees you amazing photographs.

But believe me, it doesn’t.

You’re the artist, not the camera in your hands.

I’ve shot plenty of portraits and flat lays on my Nikon D3400. It was my first camera before I upgraded to Sony A7III in February 2020.

Here’s a flatlay and a portrait shot on Nikon D3400 with the 18-55m kit lens using only natural light:

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A post shared by Garima Bhaskar (@garimashares)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Garima Bhaskar (@garimashares)

The only times I felt that Nikon D3400 didn’t perform like I wanted it to was when I shot in low-light, and videos with auto-focus issues.

Nikon D3400 has been discontinued and replaced by its upgraded model, Nikon D3500 which costs ₹ 42,900 with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G and ₹ 58,800 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR & AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G.

Somehow, it is available with the 18-55mm lens for ₹ 34,999 on Reliance Digital. Check out this deal too if you’re looking to buy it.

The lens with which I shot the portrait below is a prime lens, 50mm f/1.8G which costs 16k.

Looking back at this portrait I shot in January 2020, with Nikon D3400 & 50mm f/1.8G lens

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SOOC (Straight out of the camera)

ISO: 100, Shutter speed: 1/400s, Aperture: f/5

Camera settings on Nikon D3400 paired with 50mm f/1.8G lens
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Edited in Photoshop

I color graded the photograph on Photoshop. I quite like the results but there are a few things that could be done in a better way while composing the shot.

If you are wondering what kind of edits I did on it, here is a snapshot of the layers in Photoshop.

Retouched the portrait using the frequency separation technique which I’ve explained here.

Editing layers on Photoshop (Retouched beforehand)

Things I would have done differently

  • At the top-right corner there is a white gap which shows the blown out sky. I would compose the shot in a way that there are no odd gaps in the picture. Same goes for the grass patch on the bottom-right corner.
  • Backlit portraits are a tad bit tricky. It would’ve been great if details in the model’s hair weren’t blown out.
  • This portrait was shot in Lodhi Garden in Delhi. The tomb’s arch meets the model’s head abruptly. It would look better if she was in the center of the arch rather than at one edge.
  • Her left hand is hidden behind her body, so basically, none of her hands is visible. I would have her left hand be visible in the shot and not hidden.

Why am I telling you all this?

So that you can critique your portraits better and learn from my mistakes.

Have a look at my Amazon storefront if you’re looking for flatlay props, backdrops, gears that I recommend and more!

amazon storefront

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This post first appeared on GarimaShares, please read the originial post: here

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Looking Back At The Mistakes I Made As A Portrait Photographer

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