Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Colorful Portrait Shooting (& Advice for How to Prepare for It)

Hello and happy summer day! Back in spring, I decided that it was time for a new blog look and makeover and consequently of course also for new portrait pictures, because my old social media photos I have been using everywhere have become quite outdated during the course of the time.

So back in spring, I approached my pal Alexander Rentsch. He is a Berlin-based photographer and does portrait shoots as well as wedding documentaries, architecture shoots, fashion, food and event photography. I have always loved his photos and back last summer, among some other sessions we did a spontaneous shooting in the park during a sunny day with friends to test his new lens.

A Colorful Portrait Shooting in Berlin with Alexander Rentsch

We have been a good team for several occasions and so it was clear that he was my first choice in finding a person to take my photos. Luckily, he agreed immediately, I made a briefing (see my advice for this on the bottom of this blogpost) and we then quickly met for the shooting which took half a day.
We went trough Berlin, visited a few locations that either of us had chosen, tried out different backgrounds, color schemes and poses.
When the rain started pouring in between, we took some fun shots. Apart from the umbrella accessory, I was dressed in a relatively neutral way.
This is the photo which made it as my new final profile shot for all social networks. I love the way the background becomes blurry, I like the perspective and also my facial expression.
We shot from different angles and took plenty of time to experiment.
Of course, I also wanted to include confetti (which was even handmade :)). It was pretty windy and it took us a while to find a corner where there was no wind at all.
All those happy pops of color, hooray!
This is the photo which finally made it for my business portfolio and business network pages, yay!
We found an empty yellow staircase and had fun trying out the best perspectives and angles.
In the end, we had A LOT of photos and it took me several days to limit my choice to about thirty images which I then bought in the end. I am extremely happy with the result, because the shooting day was so much fun and the photos with their overall look and feel came out even better than I had imagined and Alex made all my portrait photo wishes come true. Thank you again! :)

As I already told you in the beginning, I found out that for me it was helpful to prepare a little briefing in order to visualize my thoughts and to communicate the photographer what I had in mind concerning the shooting. So here are my learnings for you:

Advice for Preparing for a Portrait Shooting

When I asked Alex for a shooting appointment and we started talking about the details, I immediately got the idea to make a briefing for him with some photo examples that I liked and with some information about my expectations for him to be prepared for what I was hoping to achieve.

As I have found out for myself, it was very useful to visualize my thoughts and it helped me to communicate my needs to the photograher. So my suggestion for you when you also plan to hire a photographer for a (portrait shooting) is to make a detailed briefing and include the following information:
What to include in a briefing to prepare for a portrait shooting: 

- How do you want the look and feel of your photos to be? Which kind of esthetic impression do you want them to have?
For my photos, I communicated in advance that I wanted a plain, clean and simple look, but still with some pops of color so that they look like me. I wanted the photos to be mainly neutral from any season and weather (apart from the fun rain photos as you can see) and wanted them to convey my open-mindedness and positive attitude while being not too playful. Thanks to Alex and his great skills, this can all be found in the final results and I think a good briefing is very helpful for a photographer to be prepared in advance.

- What is the aim and what will the photos be used for?
Do you for example want serious business portraits, or rather casual blog profile photos? In my case, the photos were supposed be used as blog profile photos as well as to be included in my business portfolio. Therefore, we even took photos with different facial expressions and experimented with poses.

- Send photos of you that you like and briefly explain why.
I sent photos of different poses and angles I feel super comfortable with when being photographed.

- In case you are shooting outdoors and you want to be involved into the planning process, make suggestions for possible shooting location.
Before I approached the photographer, I had already been looking for plain and colorful backdrops like walls or garages for several weeks, so I was well prepared.

- Look through the photographer's portfolio and tell him what you like (and what you don't).
Thus, he or she can way better prepare and anticipate your needs. I browsed through Alex' previous shootings and sent him photos of which I especially liked the perspectives, the display detail or the way he edited them.

Thanks a lot for reading, let me know if you have any questions and have fun planning your own portrait shoot one day! :)

All photos in this blogpost are taken by Alexander Rentsch.


  1. so schöne und ausdrucksstarte Bilder- beeindruckt !
    Lieblingsdetail sind absolut die bunten Einfahrten, das bringt die Bilder richtig zum Strahlen !

  2. I'm surprised your focus and switching tones. All on the verge of fantasy. How have you achieved such successes? Prompt beginner photographer. I've been thinking to take advantage of this program, I advised her friends. I looked on the website all about it and it looks very cool. Everything is just not as strange.

  3. Fabulous photography. I love shooting days. Much more than when I first started out. They can be so much fun. You definitely have a good eye!


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