A Photographer's Portrait / by Christian Hernandez

In the spirit of learning and becoming a better photographer, on Thursday night, I wanted to play with some lights and softboxes I had purchased a few months ago. I've learned that trial and error in a relaxed, controlled environment (not a paid shoot), I can learn a lot about lighting, the camera, lenses, and photography in general. I don't have the pressure of delivering images to a client and have ample time to adjust things and see what works and doesn't.

So I set up a makeshift background by hanging a white sheet on a curtain rod (later I placed the sheet on 2 light stands and hoped nothing fell down), I turned on 1 or 2 lights, and started snapping photos of my sister.

During the shoot, I wanted some new portraits of myself so I asked my sister to grab the camera and snap some stills. I needed some new profile pictures anyways and want to get better at being in front of the camera too so it was the perfect time to capture some. We adjusted the lighting placement, camera settings, and she snapped away.

I had 4 main motivations to do this:
1) I want to continually learn and grow as a photographer.
2) My uncle is a photographer and recently encouraged me to explore indoor portrait lighting.
3) I want to become more comfortable in front of the camera.
4) I had just gotten back from watching a presentation with photographer Platon and was inspired to photograph.

I love the photos. Some strike me as timeless. Others as dramatic, pensive, and dark. I wish I had a narrative for them that was more interesting than the above, but that may be for another time. To me, they show me an honest view of my person as a collection of my life experiences and unique personality - be it good or bad.

This is what she captured. I think she did a fantastic job and I love the photos.

GEAR USED: Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon 50mm f/1.4

Photography by Andrea Hernandez.

And the learning and growing continues.