Portrait Composition Tips With Hawaiian Beauty
Once again I was back in the Hawaiian Pali rainforest which has become one of my most favorite photoshoot locations. This time it was a special occasion because of who I was photographing.
The model was a non-model actually since this was her first photoshoot. She is a lifeguard and “just a regular girl” which I love because my most intimate an real photos have been taken of non-models or first time models. Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Iris has natural pure beauty and pride which shines through her photos.
Beautiful close-up portrait of local Hawaiian girl
I enjoy studying photos for a long period of time. There is a lot to take in and admire on this picture: the symmetry, the mix of strength and beauty, the amazing eye contact, gently flowing hair and mood. Of course the photographer cannot be concerned how his or her photos will be interpreted as it can greatly wary from viewer to viewer.
But as long as the photographer has a story to tell, it will be received and translated upon viewing.
Black and white versions of the images below are overlaid with either the Fibonacci spiral or the Rule Of Thirds grid. Not all compositions are perfect but I want to show examples when ignoring these rules of photography is OK. Of course compositions can dramatically be improved upon with cropping but I decided to show uncropped images as I created them in camera.
Fibonacci spiral over beautiful portrait
Overlaying the Fibonacci spiral, we can see how a natural, gentle tilt of the head and the flowing hair created a beautiful line, which the eyes can follow, leading the attention towards the main part of the composition: the engaging eyes. The right eye is virtually at the end of the spiral, making this composition balanced and visually pleasing.
Outdoor fashion photography in rainforest
Photoshoots especially for beginner models or non-models start with more formal setups. Finding a stunning backdrop that helps setting the mood is a breeze at this excellent location.
Standing further away to take full body photos and choosing a conservative wardrobe in the beginning all help putting the model at ease as opposed to starting with a wet and wild bikini concept.
Certain aspects that result in a pleasing composition happen to work out by themselves like the angle of the dead tree complimenting the angle of the model’s legs.
I do not recall consciously framing the photo that way and it is a lot of fun to find these elements later on during editing that were not part of the conscious picture taking process while I was looking through the viewfinder.
Rule Of Thirds grid over Hawaiian fashion photo
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that even though the top left grid intersection is not exactly over – one of the points of interests – the model’s face, nevertheless the composition is balanced and it works.
The composition could have been adjusted in camera by noticing that perhaps there was too much rock behind the model.
Beautiful Hawaiian girl in Kukui nut lei
As the photoshoot progresses the camera moves closer revealing more intimate moods and details. The light, the colors, the expression, the wardrobe and the accessories nicely bring this picture together for me. The Kukui nut lei is classic Hawaiian jewelry, and not only it is beautiful to look at but it also photographs very well due to its volume.
Rule Of Thirds grid over local Hawaiian girl
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that as the camera was angled, two major points of interests were placed in the cross-hairs: the model’s left eye and graceful hand. The camera tilt is a widely used composition technique, although sometimes it gets overused by amateur photographers.
Beautiful Hawaiian girl laying in rainforest foliage
When great moments present themselves it is time to capture them from as many angles as possible. Getting close to the ground, shooting through colorful foliage and creating the background from the rainforest canopy resulted in a nice color palette. Using a wide enough aperture and long enough focal length ensured that the background and the foreground would be blurred so the model would stand out. The natural beauty of this local Hawaiian girl completes the picture.
Rule Of Thirds grid over rainforest fashion photo
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that the model’s eye is not exactly in the crosshair but at the time of composing this picture, I wanted to make sure that I included her hair, with the sun shining on it. Even though the composition is not 100% according to The Golden Ratio, I find it to have enough balance and flow to be a successful photo.