Last week I decided that Ryan was way overdue for pictures. He is now starting his Junior year in High School, and I realized that I didn't even take any "sophomore" pictures. (Remember I don't like school pictures). I really don't. So, I knew it was time to plan a little photo shoot. I'm not sure when he grew up, but I wasn't quite sure how to photograph a teenage boy! After a little digging around on the Internet, I came up with some tricks of the trade. Here are my top tips for photographing teenage boys.
1. Go to weather.com and pick a sunny day. This site will tell you what time sunset is on the day that you choose. Plan to start shooting one to one and a half hours before sunset.
2. Have a place in mind with lots of great backgrounds. Ask around if you don't know. I found out about a public place called Burnside Plantation, which is where we took most of our photos.
3. Take lots of pictures and then only keep the best ones. Edit them with your favorite program. I use Picasa because it is free and I am familiar with it. Play around with special effects. This next one was taken on a bit of an angle. Don't be scared to turn your camera few degrees.
4. When you crop your photos, don't limit yourself to the standard sizes. Try different shapes, and let your subject by off center. I cropped this one so Ryan is on the right half and the background on the left half. You could split it right down the middle of the photograph. Click on all the photos below if you want to enlarge them to get a better idea.
5. Try sepia. Try lightening. Try auto contrast. Just play around!
6. This was "holga-ish"...and I turned up the "grain". Looks like an old time photograph. This is a great fix for photos where the lighting was unflattering to the skin tones.
7. I searched the Internet for poses for teenage boys, and found that folding arms, putting hands in pockets, or leaning on their knees worked well. We planned some poses, but also just had fun...
8. Here is nearly the same one as above but edited in "Cross Process" for a different look and feel...
9. Try different angles
10. Take a bunch of photos while they are walking!
Pay attention to the sunlight, and play around with different angles. Editing is so important. I usually lighten every photo a bit, and do "auto contrast". Then I may saturate the photos a little or play around with black and white, sepia, or cross process, adjusting the levels until I like the look. What do you think? I think they turned out pretty great!