Wednesday, 9 June 2010

John Alexander Portrait Photography

Hi Everyone,

I am constantly glancing through other photographers' portfolios, from landscape photographers to portrait photographers. This time it was portrait photographers. I have not done much location model shooting before and thought I would have a go to see if I could handle it if a situation were ever to arise. So...I typed into my facebook status "Anyone in Exeter up for a portrait session today?" and see if anyone wanted to be my guinea pig.

All I had to do is wait for the string of emails from beautiful girls pleading to have their photograph taken. This did not happen.

Minutes later I received two emails from my friends, Dom (male) and James (male) excited to have a portrait done of themselves. Dom was to go first. I mean, I'd much rather photograph a tall, northern bloke from Derby than a blond, Swedish girl in her bikini anyway. So...Dom and I went to town (literally) to look for some portrait locations.

We searched around Exeter and I realised then how, being a photographer, I see the world a bit differently than the casual passer-by. A good example of this is this row of blue garage doors somewhere in the dodgy part of Exeter that people try and avoid (see image). Although looking like the the side-streets of Tunisia, it really wasn't. Most wouldn't give it a second glance, however (without sounding arty farty) noticed the vibrant colours of the red wall behind contrasting the newly painted blue garage doors which gave a perfect simple back-drop for a portrait image. The colours are bold, but they are simple, and its this continual simplicity throughout the image that doesn't distract from the model (yes Dom, you are a model!).

Throughout this shoot I used my Canon 50mm f1.4 portrait lens. I try to use a very high aperture, (something like f1.6) in order to get some good background blur or bokeh to isolate the subject from the distracting backgrounds. I love the effect it gives and would love to know if you like the photos as this is a new thing for me and don't know if they are good or not!

Thanks Dom for being a great model. You were brilliant! Your the best etc. etc.



  1. I love the garage doors! Lovely looking model too! where was the graffiti piece? hope you're well, Emily x

  2. Hi Emily,
    It is also in Exeter, near the high street. We were just giving up on locations and found this! Although it was next to a very busy street which Dom (the model) found truly embarressing!