What’s My Favorite Portrait? Here’s Mine…

by | Feb 21, 2018

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

It doesn’t matter what person, place, or thing you’re photographing, the ultimate subject of any photograph is light.

Light, whether occurring naturally or artificially, has four basic characteristics: quality, quantity, direction and color but it’s the quality of the light on a subject ultimately determines the effectiveness of your portrait.

Last week I wrote about my favorite photograph and it turned out it was shot during the 1970’s. Bringing things more up-to-date, I wanted to feature my favorite portrait but that proved more difficult than I imagined. Initially I wanted to select one of the images I made of my former muse, Tia Stoneman, but over the years I’ve posted many different portraits of her and she has retired from active modeling. (Although I must confess that I live in the hope that one day she’ll return.)

Over the years, I have worked with some fabulous models, including the amazing Pamela Simpson and you’ve seen many images of her on my former blog, Saving the World, One Pixel at a Time. But the model, who I only got to photograph twice and every time I post one of her portraits it elicits emails about her (next only to “The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships, is this Oklahoma-based model, who was photographed in the kitchen—yes, kitchen—of my former home. A tiny, black-and-white version of this image appeared in a recent Shutterbug; now you get to see the full, original portrait.

I’ve often written abut the use of available light and window light as a way to create interesting glamour and portrait images and I still like it even though my current home lacks the kind of North-facing windows to make portraits like this one. The portrait was shot using mostly window light from the North-facing bay window and supplanted by a Canon EX550 speedlight with Sto-Fen Omni Bounce attached. Camera was a Canon EOS 50D with the now discontinued EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens (at 53mm.) It was affordable, quite good and I’m sorry to have sold it back when I was wrapped up in a “newer is better” attitude that I’ve finally gotten over. Exposure was 1/90 sec at f/4.5 and ISO 400.

PS: Speaking of muses, the job is still open. If you know of any models, aspiring models or women who would like to become my muse, please have them Contact me.



You can learn more about my available light glamour and boudoir photography techniques in my book Available Light Glamour Photography” that’s available from Amazon. As I write this, new copies are $26.14, with used copies selling for $8.98, which I think is a pretty good deal.