So before leaving on vacation, I did a bit of research to see how the masters tackled portrait work. I picked up a few key tips from that research and put them to some use while on vacation.
The shot above is of my son, Gabriel. He is wearing his grandfather's hat and was walking past a white wall I had selected as a backdrop for some portraits. I picked it because of the texture and very white would help reflect some light. I took a reflector but did not use it on this image.
I wanted him just off center and I wanted the classic placement where his eyes are right at the top third division of the photograph. While he is photogenic, I spoke to him a bit to get him to relax. I kept it down to four shots to avoid him becoming bored. He enjoyed it and I managed to grab this picture which really captures his personality.
In terms of gear, I used my Leica ME with the Zeiss 50mm lens. I got dow to slightly below his eye level to avoid too much shadow from the hat.
For post processing, I did the conversion in Lightroom and cropped it down to an 8x10 losing a chunk of the top of the image. This helped get him centered where I wanted him. It is a simple post processing job just the way I like it.
I took several portrait images using my Pentacon Six but have not developed it yet. Even so, if no other portrait comes out I am happy with this result. The boy was in the right mood, my camera was near and he had borrowed his grandfather's hat which gives the portrait and interesting focal point. It adds character to his sun kissed freckles.