Portrait Photography - Shallow Depth of field outdoors by Denny Henry

I don't often write about the technical side of my photography, but this post will be the exception. I've upgraded a lot of my lighting equipment over the past few months and it's really helped to unlock some creative possibilities in my work.  

The feature I've been enjoying the most out of this new gear is the Hi-Sync functionality of my Elinchrom flashes. By going over the normal Nikon sync speed of 1/250 I'm able to decrease my aperture and give a nice shallow depth of field to my outdoor portraits.

This was especially helpful for the portraits below because we had to schedule these portraits during the harsh noon sunshine.  

Corporate Photography - Golf by Denny Henry

This summer I once again photographed the Perfect Sense Digital Pro-Am tournament before the Quicken Loans National tournament in Maryland.  I usually have two goals for my photography at these events. The first is to get at least one good action photo of every golfer sponsored by Perfect Sense. This goal takes up the majority of my time.  Golf is a long game, and It takes a fair amount of time for the foursomes to make their way around the course.  My second, more elusive, goal is to get good interactions between the players throughout the day.  For the most part, I have to pick good locations and stay on my toes to catch the moments as they happen.  As always, this years was tiring, but great.

Portrait Photography - Senior Portraits by Denny Henry

Other than weddings, my photo work has always been for editorial or corporate clients.  It's rare that I shoot family photography, and earlier this summer I shot my first senior portraits. 

I've known Reese all of her life and I was thrilled to shoot some portraits of her while I was in Ashville, NC.  Before the shoot, Reese gave me some great examples of the style of photography she likes, and she also picked some great locations to shoot. I'd never been to Ashville before, so I had no idea what to expect.

Who knew a brewery parking lot could look so good.  

Corporate Photography - Portraits near the Capitol by Denny Henry

A big part of any portrait is getting the subject to feel comfortable in front of the camera. Most people are understandably a little uncomfortable stepping in front of a stranger with a camera and letting them take pictures.  It may sound a little backwards, but one of the ways I get people to look natural is by giving direction on how to pose or stand.  I'm not a big proponent of canned poses that may look pleasing, but force people stand in a completely unnatural way.  The posing guidance I give focuses on making people look their best while feeling natural. I find this often helps build trust with my subject. I let people know when they're tilting their head to one side (most people do), or have the light falling on them in an unflattering way. This lets them know I really have their interests in mind and I'm trying to work to make them look their best. 

I write all that with the portraits belowbecause they were all so open to my direction. Their portraits were all going to end up on the same webpage, so while each portrait doesn't have to be exactly alike, we wanted them to be similar. The people pictured were all congressional interns, who had just arrived in DC. Many came from across the country and had never been in Washington before.