Running out of ideas for shooting portraits? Sometimes, all you need is a prop you can use as a major part of your portrait’s story. If you’ve been working in the studio for a while, you might want to bring your session outdoors to give your photos a scenic or even moody look. Case in point is the lovely session by Irene Rudnyk where she took portraits in natural light outdoors with her model holding a cello.
For today’s portrait photography inspiration, let’s watch a lovely behind-the-scenes video of Irene Rudnyk’s outdoor photo shoot with a cello, and see what tips we can pick up from it:
For this shoot, Irene gave a touch of music to her outdoor shoot, borrowing a cello from a musician friend to join her beautiful model. Why a cello in particular? According to Irene, she played violin when she was younger, which is why string instruments have a special place in her heart. Let this be tip number one for your next portrait session: draw concepts and ideas from your other creative pursuits to add another dimension to your shots.
Irene also first thought of shooting her cello portraits on a sunny day, perhaps with a dramatic sunset in the background as well. However, shoot day turned out to be a cloudy one. Still, she ended up liking the look created by the soft lighting, which actually gave her photos a fitting dramatic mood. Tip number two is one of the reasons why many portrait photographers love shooting outdoors: natural light readily illuminates the subject beautifully and evenly, and you can take advantage of the different moods inherent in different times of the day.
Lastly, tip number three tells us that our locations also play a big part in the mood or story you’re making in your photographs. Irene picked a nice open sprawl for her portraits, putting her cello-playing model against a scenic backdrop with hardly any obtrusive elements surrounding her. This allows the viewer to focus on the drama of the cello and the striking beauty of her muse.
Irene Rudnyk makes a lot of these behind-the-scenes videos, so check out her YouTube channel if you want to keep being inspired by her process.
Screenshot image from video by Irene Rudnyk