Reading too many portrait books may cause you some problems. Especially if you're lost and have no idea where you want to go to. Some will tell you things one way, others will state it is done otherwise. You've to understand books are written by people. As this new eBook, Portraits: Lighting The Shot, from Gina Milicia.
I should say this is the third eBook I read from photographer Gina Milicia. But I've also read eBooks on the same theme from many other photographers, and also followed workshops. So, I am well aware that different photographers have their "rules", even if the theme is the same and the aim similar: to get good results.
Looking through this eBook you'll find that Gina Milicia has some good results, things you'll want to be able to do for your next portraits. The pictures appeal to you, and the writing style, simple and to the point, will move you on the direction of the desired goal. It is a good eBook, some 132 pages of information that will take you from The Rules to Building the Shot, moving through different chapters that cover things like:
The Gear: The gear you need, might need and actually don't need.
The Way: How to 'see' the light, by using the 'force' in a non nerdy way. This section is GOLD.
The Style: Understand Gina's style, but importantly how to use all your new skills to create your own.
Troubleshooting: How to handle those tricky lighting scenarios
I guess everything you need to know to execute a good portrait, or different good portraits, is at your fingertips with this new eBook published by dPS (Digital Photography School). Reading the whole eBook will help you to grasp the concepts that make a good shot become a great one. It will also, probably, make you want to look at the previous eBook from Gina Milicia, Portraits: Making The Shot, which was also published at dPS, and another important piece to understand the photographer. I talk about the eBook 14 Recipes for Amazing Portraits published alongside Making The Shot. This trio will make you get a wider understanding of how to create portraits.
Why is portraiture important? Well, if you look through your photo archive, there's a good chance you'll find lots of pictures of people. You put them in frames, share them on Facebook, and create memories that last a lifetime ... maybe you should learn to do it at a professional level. I do not mean you need to open a studio for that, but simply making better pictures of family and friends will make your photography more interesting.
Back to the eBook, you'll find in it everything you need to get up to speed. Does this mean you can read it and never again read about portraiture techniques? No, not at all, In fact, I suggest you read other authors. I mentioned earlier that eBooks are written by people. And people think differently, so what for some is a rule is for others something to break. That's interesting to know, and to understand through reading multiple authors. It's like everything else in life, from cooking to going to movies. People like to try different things, and are also faced with multiple ways to create nice dishes with the same ingredients or fantastic movies about the same themes. And we like to try the difference. So why should you read just one eBook about Portraiture?
That's what I want you to think about when you go and buy this eBook. Do it, it will certainly take your picture taking to a new level, and not just in portraits. But do not stop there. Practice intensively what Gina Milicia suggests (yes, there are exercises in the eBook). And do not get confused with multiple "rules" from different photographers. Take from each of them the things you feel comfortable with, and practice to understand what works or does not work to you. Just reading the eBook and accepting everything in it does not make you a good photographer. It is through "hands-on" experimentation you'll grow. Books and eBooks are just helping tool to make the path easier to walk. But they should not be limits to your own creativity and experimentation. So break the rules, do your own "rules" and have fun. Through a sound investment in education (more than gear, really) and many hours of... photographing.
Now go and buy Portraits: Lighting The Shot.