Let’s Break Some Rules!My name is Scott Martin. I’m a photographer.
When I was 12 years old, my uncle Claud gave me a Konica 35mm SLR camera with a 50mm lens for Christmas. He also handed me my first 5 rolls of black and white film and I spent the entire day shooting the family activities as he taught me how to meter and set the camera for a ‘proper’ exposure. This kind man had invited me into an exciting new world and I was hooked from day one.
That was the simple beginning that led to decades of happiness behind a camera. I spent years studying photos in magazines and reading books and articles about gear, lighting, and the rules of composition. I shot countless rolls of film. I set up my own darkroom and did my own black and white processing and prints. I learned to dodge and burn, and massage an image to match, as closely as possible, what was in my head when I took the shot.
Now we come to the rules. All that study was focused on portraits. I loved capturing that moment. The one split second everyone else seemed to miss. What were the ‘rules’ for portraits? Well, everyone I spoke to who knew anything about portrait photography seemed to have a few rules of thumb in common.
- Never shoot a portrait with anything wider than a 70mm lens.
- Never shoot a portrait in midday light.
- Never ever shoot a woman from a low perspective.
- Never ever shoot a woman close up with a wide angle lens.
- Select a great location for your shot. Don’t just shoot in a parking lot or some such place.
This shot was taken in a parking lot, under midday sun, using a 24mm lens, from a low perspective, up close and personal. There was no flash, no reflector, and no diffuser. My wife and I were walking out of a restaurant after a nice lunch when I turned around and saw this shot. I knew right away it would be cool. “Babe, don’t move!” She’s married to a photographer, so she’s used to this. She stopped and I went low, composed the shot and released the shutter. Is it perfect? Nope. I see flaws in every image I take. But I like it. And it’s been one of the most liked and commented shots I’ve posted online so far. It breaks a lot of ‘rules’. But then again… I’ve always been that kind of person. Just ask my wife (Love ya, Babe!).
Oh… and always carry your camera!
Thanks for reading.