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  • Writer's picturejudithtacelli

Free Portraits

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

To practice working with many types of sitters and using my new 85mm portrait lens, I’m setting aside time to offer free portraits. I’m going to post my photos and impressions here. #FreePortraits #PennsicWar

Update: Week of August 5-10, 2017 Pennsic War in Slippery Rock, PA I belong to the SCA and go to Pennsic War every year. This year I decide to set up several "Free Portrait" sessions. It was fun and I got to meet new people and see old friends.

Day 6: 11.17.2016 Wolly Beach I got out late, near the park, on a blustery afternoon. I meant to pack two triggers, but only packed one, so no flash (which the deeper shade needed). Since it was cold, only one person stopped.

Eddie A fellow photographer, Eddie, was willing to stop and chat for a bit. We talked lens and the supermoon. He said he’d send me a great shot he got the night before near Squantum Beach.

Day 5: 11.11.2016 Wolly Beach I decided to try near the park, just after noon. I found a spot where the trees across the street provided some shade. This got me more families with kids, which is perfect! I found I had to set up my diffuser stand with the “free” sign posted in order to get folks to stop. (I tried setting up the diffuser to provide some more consistent shade but it was in the way and blew around too much. I need to research other shade options.)

Tham Family The littlest, Lilly, was tired and just wouldn’t give me a smile. I gotta work on that!

Nguyen Family The boy was one year old, the girl 15 months. He had that “fake smile” that some boys that age use: I’ll bring my stuffed toy the next time I go out to try and warm them up a bit.

Frank Frank is a local actor so was all too happy to sit for a moment. He was a natural.

Day 4: 10.24.2016 The Parade Corner of State & Bank Streets, New London, CT I didn’t bring my full diffuser setup down with me to CT so I picked out a spot in open shade and set up a remote trigger flash at 1/4 power at a 45 degree angle to help add a bit of sparkle to the images.

Charles Charles was on his way to the bus station. He had a busy day planned but was kind enough to sit for a moment so I could make a portrait.

Mick Mick watched me for several minutes as I set up and took test shots. When I called over to him to say good morning and ask if he would help me test my new portrait lens he said, “Sure, I’ll be your Guinea pig”.

Day 3: 10.21.2016 Wolly Beach On a cloudy, windy Friday, I decided to got out to practice using an off-camera flash unit with a mini-diffuser. I had a lot of trouble with my overhead shade setup. Even set parallel to the ground and weighted with 10 pounds, it threatened to blow off and would not stay in position. As it was 12:30, rather than my normal 3pm, this seemed to effect the number of potential sitters. But I stuck it out for an hour or so and got one person to pose.

Mike Mike is a retired U.S. Postal worker. He was curious but declined to pose for me at first. The second time he passed by, I asked again and he agreed to sit for a quick moment. We talked about the medium format and film developer equipment he was looking to sell and his past photographer experience.

Day 2: 10.18.2016 Wolly Beach

Tessa and her 5-month-old baby girl, Gemma Tessa was shy but willing to pose. They were both very cute. She wrote me later, saying “Thanks for the photo, l Iove it. I showed it to my husband and he likes it too.”

Megan Youssef Megan came back on Day 2 all dressed up and looking lovely in vibrant colors.

Joey Candy with Buddy A friend of Chris Kesaris, who he brought by for his picture too.

Tom Kelley with Chaco Another friend of Chris Kesaris. Both Joey and Tom seemed more comfortable posing with a canine buddy.

Lenny Kelley didn’t want her picture taken but was willing to have her dog, Lenny, pose for me. They were both very sweet.

Day 1: 10.17.2016 Wolly Beach

Chris Kesaris with Chaco and Buddy He was very friendly and shook my hand when we were done.

Megan Youssef She was very patient and asked if we could try again so she could “dress up a bit”. I love her eyes, smile and glowing skin!

Mike Kenney Mike belongs to the Trail Animals Running Club and was doing a “loosen up” run after completing a 100 mile run (continuous 26 hours 48 minutes). He said, “It was in a forest with a lot of steep climbs, and the final 7 hours in the rain!” He also said he was “a serious guy” so didn’t want to smile or take off his sunglasses but he was very nice and seemed happy to pose for a picture.

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