How to get a Great Professional Portrait: Tips by Top NYC Photographer Bob Krasner
If it’s time for a new professional portrait make it SUPERB. I go on location with renowned NYC photographer Bob Krasner to learn from him what makes a great portrait. Watch how he works a miracle with this old bird — then grab his tips and work with your photographer to make your portrait FABULOUS!
How do you make your professional portrait look marvellous? Even if you’re grey and overweight. When you look like this and your professional portrait looks like this, it’s time for a new one, even if you’re a little greyer and heavier than you’d like to be, because you know, the trend is not going to change on that anytime soon, so you might as well just get a grip and do it.
So, how do you get to a great professional portrait? How do you get to a portrait that shows you as someone other folks would want to get to know and engage with? That’s a problem we’re going to solve in today’s video, and I’m super excited because I called on my old friend and colleague, Bob Krasner. He’s our go-to photographer here at Camere, and he’s shot presidents, philanthropist, actors, musicians, and he’s been published in Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Town & Country. So, you know, doesn’t get much better than that.
Bob and I met in New York where he lives and works. The first step to a great portrait is getting out of the studio and going to a location that will give your portrait some more interest and tell more of a story about you.
Bob: To create a portrait you really want to show something in the person that says kind of who they are, and you have to make sure that you’ve have the basic’s, you have good lighting, you got to have a nice composition, you don’t want to have anything in the picture that doesn’t belong there, and you don’t want anything that distracts from the person. You want to make sure that the background either frames the person, or it has a nice, pleasing texture. But, it’s not so much in focus that it’s distracting from the person’s face.
Deb: I’m reminded of that picture you took of Demise. Demise works at Camare, she’s director of operations. You were in central park, and you would think that in central park you’d have some rolling vistas, but you took this incredible picture, you got here in a tunnel. It was the light behind her— the lighting on her face was extraordinary, but that wonderful circle, almost a halo around the back of her head, the shot is very interesting and what a beautiful portrait came out. It wasn’t what I would’ve expected when you said “meet me at central park” you know?
Bob: I’m going to agree with you that the picture did come up fabulous. That bad lighting in the picture can totally backfire on you if it’s not handled correctly. You want to make sure that the person is placed in such a way that it enhances the picture, it doesn’t distract.
Deb: I think it’s amazing how you get people to calm down in front of the camera.
Bob: You know, it’s a matter of getting people to trust you, because they have to feel like you know what you’re doing, first of all. I mean, the basic advice I would give to anybody who is having a portrait done in anyway, no matter who the photographer is, is they need to trust the photographer, because if they don’t trust the photographer, no matter how good the photographer is the pictures are going to be terrible, because the person is going to be twisted, or contorted, or they’re not going to let down that wall between them and the camera that you need to kind of break down to get a nice picture of somebody.
Deb: Okay, we’re off to do a photoshoot of me, and we have a wonderful assistant sage behind the camera who’s going to shoot some of it, and I’m really excited and kind of nervous, but Bob is going to call me down. We’re going up to the highline, and we’ll show you how that all works out.
The highline is an abandoned elevate railway that’s been transformed into New York’s most popular park. High above the street it offers unique vistas, great light, textures and backdrops. Add a great photographer and baby, you’re a star.
A quick word about glasses and transition lenses, if you wear them and you’re going to shoot your portrait outside, they’re going to turn into sunglasses. So, I went to my optometrist and got the same frames, they’re not filled yet, they will be filled for my prescription, but for the portrait they’re much clear obviously. So, you can see the difference. Okay, on to the portrait.
Today with the internet there’s so many uses for photography, and it’s important to know how your imaged will be used. One of my used would be for the banner art of my YouTube channel, and that means I need some space over my right hand should to accommodate text and design. So, be sure to think through how you will use your image and your portrait, and discuss that with your photographer before you set out on your shoot.
Oh my god, bob asked me to put my foot up this way, twist that way, lean towards the camera, and here’s why it’s really important to trust your photographer, because even though those kinds of poses may feel weird, they look great in camera. The one think about bob is that he feels relaxed, here we are in a super crowded park and it’s not a problem. Bob and I work in really high pressure and dangerous corporate shoes, and he’s always Mr. Calm and focused, and that’s so important when you have seconds to get this shot, and it’s really critical for a professional photographer. When your photographer is relaxed, so are you.
Even our assistant sage and had her moment in front of the camera, let’s watch how Bob gets comfortable, relaxed, and gets that shot.
And here are the results of my day in the park. Authoritative, friendly, a captain of industry. My grey hair and assets, my extra weight, are non-issue. I love, I’ll take it.
So, in a nutshell; trust your photographer, consider the clothes that you’re wearing, something or upside dark, you said. You said dark tones. Consider the location so it tells a story, and trust your photographer. So, if any of you are in New York call Bob, his link is below. Also, if you liked this video please subscribe and follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. And you can follow bob on Instagram, he’s got two wonderful Instagram Channels, and we’ll link them below too. Until next time, have a great business day.