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See This Pro's Process & Essential Gear For Location Portraits

Among pro creator Dane Isaac's (@dane.isaac) many skills are his abilities to create powerful portraits anywhere. The Alpha Collective member, who has studied architecture, likes to focus on the usage of space, light and storytelling, making his location portraiture stand out from the rest. Watch in this video as he shares how he approaches location portraits and some of the gear he uses to do so. Want to see more videos like this one? Subscribe to the Alpha Universe YouTube Channel.

Among pro creator Dane Isaac's many skills are his abilities to create powerful portraits anywhere. He shares his approach in this location portraits tutorial.

Utilize The Space & Adapt On The Go

Isaac says the most important thing when it comes to location portraits is utilizing the space. Whenever he gets to the location he likes to walk around and feel out the area and observe the details within the space. “Whether it be the colors, the textures, the composition, the light,” he explains. “I try to utilize all those different things based on my subject.” He also says he’s good at adapting on the go while shooting location portraits. While he’s shooting he’ll find certain elements to follow and then he will follow the direction of the light to know how to pose his subject in the space.

Tell A Story

In general when Isaac is taking photos, he wants to tell a story. “Sometimes I make a story up in my head for my subject, or if I do have the time I listen to them. And it depends what it is, if it’s a personal, intimate portrait, I really want to get their story and translate that. In fashion or street photography, you kind of let those stories create themselves. Or you would just create a fantasy story and sell that based on your space, your location, your wardrobe, your lighting.”

Communicate With Your Subjects

During a portrait session, Isaac likes to have open communication with his subjects. He shows them the photos, and even poses them the way he thinks they should pose. “I like to get hands-on. I like to let them feel comfortable as well so they understand. I think a lot of times the subject that’s getting their photo taken, they don’t always get the vision. So they might be in a position or in a frame and they feel awkward, and I might be able to sense that. So I try to break that awkwardness by showing them.” Once he shows his subjects the image, it usually clicks for them so they can really get into the pose.

Find Your Favorite Setup

Issac’s main camera and lens combination for location portraits is the Sony Alpha 7R III and the Sony 35mm f/1.4. He finds 35mm to be the happy medium for portraits in any situation. “It’s my favorite setup. I’m so accustomed to the weight, the feel of it. How the photos render is amazing.” He also uses other setups like the Sony Alpha 7 IV and the Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master or the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.

See more of Dane Isaac’s work on Instagram @dane.isaac.

Watch more videos like this one on the Alpha Universe YouTube Channel.

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