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Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week | Rangefinder

This month, we are celebrating eye-catching portraits and photos that were awarded in WPPI’s Second Half competition. Discover the entire gallery of winners, and take a look at our weekly featured photo series.

Last week, we continued spotlighting our Photos of the Week series on Second Half winners (read the stories behind those highlighted images here), and this week, we continue with five more photos that caught our attention from the competition.

Ivan Duran created “Strength Comes From Within” during one of his workshops using a Sony a7RII with a Sony 85mm/1.8 lens. The image won first place for the “Bridal Party/Family and Friends” category within Second Half’s Wedding Division.

“The robe and hat that the model is wearing here came from James Thomas, a talented designer who first caught my eye on Facebook,” Duran explains. “The outfit spoke to me of strength, power and mystery, so I made all my key decisions to communicate this feeling to my viewer.” To create a mood of intensity, Duran added a red gel to his rim light and then used a clean black background to minimize distractions. “I had the model close her eyes in order to keep the focus on the clothing and add to that sense of mystery. The tilted hat, which obscures part of the model’s face, contributes to this sense of mystery as well and keeps the picture from being too symmetrical.”

Duran also decided to keep the model’s hands hidden, partly to minimize distractions, but also because he says it gives the feel of “something being held back, of a strength that is not necessarily out on display but held in the depths of one’s person.”

[Read: The Rule of Thirds—How to Use It and When to Break It]

For photographer Alvaro Ruiz Nogues, “The Tree of Life” image that won first place in the Portrait Division’s Newborn + Baby category was a labor of love (no pun intended) with his wife, who loves crafts and finding innovating ways to create interesting sets and props.

See how “The Tree of Life” image did indeed, come to life.

“This concept involved looking for branches and leaves, and many, many hours of testing to be able to achieve the final result we wanted,” the photographer explains. “My wife set up the incredible stage and posed the baby.”

[Read: Drone Portraits: A Guide to Making Portraits That Soar]

“I already knew I wanted a portrait of my bride and groom from this wedding taken inside the old mission San Juan Bautista in California,” says Atlanta, Georgia-based photographer Andrea De Anda, who took second place for her image “Mission San Juan” in the “Bride or Groom Alone: Wedding Day” category of the Second Half’s Wedding Division. “What I didn’t know is that because everything ended up running so late, I would barely have the time to take it— and then I lost the groom somewhere between family portraits and reception!”

As De Anda and the couple were walking out of the church and her camera settings were already dialed in, De Anda says she quickly yelled “Stop, one more picture,” to the bride.

“I needed to fight for this portrait; I wanted to make it happen,” she admits. “I asked to see the back of her dress and I quickly positioned the veil around her train to create a leading line towards her face. The overall composition couldn’t be anything other than ‘dead center’ because of the church’s symmetry. My assistant was holding the light as I quickly took the picture.”

[Read: Upselling Albums to Wedding Clients and Playing the Long Game]

Myra Thiessen, a fine-art portrait and wedding photographer based out of Tampa, Florida, says her client Briana DeShields called on her way back from a day at the beach and said she’d like a portrait taken of her and her baby boy, Jonah.

“When she arrived she had only beach wear for clothing so I had to think of something fast. Briana pulled out a pair of gold earrings and BAM – I remembered I had a large piece of silk Organza. I went to my storage closet and brought it into the studio. I decided to keep it simple and just wrap her in this beautiful fabric. The gold color of the fabric against Briana’s warm skin tones worked perfectly for this shot.” “I wanted to capture an intimate image that would evoke the tenderness of a mother’s touch. I love that the image portrays the special connection between mother and child.” The resulting image, “A Mother’s Touch”, won third place in the Portrait Division’s Group + Families category.

Check out another worthwhile mention this week from Ji Gangyi, with the photographer’s first-place winning image in Pre-Wedding Division’s “Bride or Groom Alone: Non-Wedding Day” category.

The post Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week appeared first on Rangefinder.

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