Pro Studio Supply is the main sources for Black V-Drapes in the USA. It's like a poncho style wrap made from quality velvet that appears like a formal gown from the front. A graceful V is created in the front and falls gently off the girls shoulders. To many, this may seem very ''Old-Fashion'' and it is. But what it accomplishes is an equalizing of every girl by breaking down the portrait to a beautiful face, a supple neck and her shoulders. Many schools have been creating framed composite mats for the graduating class with our drapes. Class composite frames are a clean impressive way to feature their classes.
The Classic V-Drape is a simple wrap specially designed for ease and speed. It slips right on and uses a basic velcro closure on back to keep it in place. Black tube tops are available to help the girls feel more secure. Each drape is simply adjusted to a proper placement for the neck and shoulders and every girl is done the identical way. Several drapes are required for large groups of girls to avoid spending too much time adjusting each one during the photograph. This way, while the current girl is being photographed the one on board is being prepared and ready for her photo. Our Misses or Medium style was designed to fit at least 90% of all girls. An extra large is available for plus-sizes.
We also carry the Double V-Drape which is a true poncho and features a V in front and in back. It's placed on over the head and you can do over the shoulder shots with it. There is a need for colors other than standard black. We created a selection of custom colors for those requests that include Royal Indigo, Burgundy, Hunter Green, Navy, Red and White. The custom color drapes may require a week to ship but have been filling the need of many high schools, colleges and debutante cotillions.
Throughout the United States, many high school seniors and college graduate photography is still done with a formal Classic V-Drape. But today, due to the influx of people doing photography the trend has clearly changed. Senior photography has almost become a modeling session for both girls and boys. It's a time for the photographer and student to become creative with many change of clothes and props. But for many schools still requiring a black wrap, Pro Studio Supply will be ready to meet your demands.
There's so many styles and new ways of composing portraits these days. Everybody has a special place or background they like to use, but the soft-focus or ''blurry'' background still offers the most interesting look. Whether your background consists of three dimensional trees in a park or a beautiful old master painted background, it will consistently keep the attention concentrated on your subject by reducing the details behind them.
The simplest way is to position the subject as far in front of your background, while keeping in control and not running out material or subject matter around them. Whether it be a wonderful growth of shrubs, a unique brick bldg. or that new X-Drop style cloth background, allowing it to go soft will truly improve and keep the concentration on the portrait.
With most of the DSLR's on the market today, you can go to aperture priority ''A'' on your camera. You can select a wider opening like f2.8, f3.5, f4 which gives shallow depth-of-field. Most cameras will automatically set the shutter speed to make a proper exposure. Some cameras have an icon with a head on it for ''portrait'' mode. This will also assist in a wider aperture with less depth-of-field, if you're at all hesitant to use your DSLR in ''manual mode.'' To get a bit acquainted with these settings, make some test shots at different apertures to see how it changes your background.
Make sure you keep accurate focus on your subjects eyes when doing a tight focus and see exactly how this simple technique will change your look. This is usually a natural occurrence when using a small aperture and a long focal length. Working a soft background effect into some of your portrait sessions can help you develop a new look for the brand you're trying to create.
If you've captured some interesting portraits with the soft background effect, please share them. We love to share examples of your photos & other tips and ideas! Image provided by Southern Exposure Photography, GA.
Whether you like it or not, your knowledge of portrait lighting is essential to improving your skills as a pro photographer. Rembrandt lighting is one of several techniques that portrait studio photographers should learn and use. It's really very simple with one light source at about 45 degrees from the subject and a little above eye level. This lights the side of the face that's farthest from the camera. Most pros like this style and can be done with 1 or 2 lights which ensures one side of the face is illuminated well from the main light source. The other side of the face has a nose shadow and a triangle of light underneath the eye, as the light fades to shadow on the side of the cheek. Having your subject turn their head away or into the light is the key to Rembrandt lighting. This technique create an illusion of a third dimension by utilizing lights and darks. It's not that the shadows are hard or soft, just evident, no matter how subtle or prominent the appearance. I urge everyone to continue learning and experimenting with the five basic lighting set-ups and we'll keep presenting more idea, tips & techniques. We'd love to share some of your examples of Rembrandt lighting. Please add your favorite image and add a comment about your experience with Rembrandt lighting.