Indoor Portrait Shooting Session

The reason for the less frequent updates on this blog for the past 2 weeks? I have been away for work, outstation in Johor Bahru, for business meetings as well as supporting an Olympus event there. We just had an Indoor Portrait Shooting session, organized by a local Olympus fan group, Pantheon of Olympus (check out their FB page!) and headed by a fellow Olympus photographer, Sapphire Ker. 

It is no secret that I am not that good at shooting portraits! Nonetheless, it was sure super fun, and I do wish to do more, the only issue now is finding time to do so. There have been many working weekends for the past month and my hands have been getting unbearably itchy for some shutter therapy session, which I have been deprived of. 

The lighting was quite bad in the cafe, but hey, sometimes I take the easy way out and I converted all images to black and white for simplicity. 

Here are some behind the ecenes shots taken by Sapphire Ker!

JB was such an awesome place with so many beautiful and friendly people, I feel compelled to come back here again soon. I sure want to go out and shoot macro together with Sapphire and other amazingly talented Oympus shooters here, and I have seen some photographs of killer sunrise/sunset landscape taken in Johor! For sure, I will make a trip here again, and this time, perhaps with photography as my main agenda. 


  1. Hi Robin,

    I found your blog from a search initially for the EM10 Mark II review. I enjoy your blog immensely and enjoy coming back to read your articles and see your colorful photos. I like the warm sephia tones in the black and white photos showing the striking lighting patterns on the wall. They look very retro like the 40s or 50s. Looks like everyone had a good time at the event.

    1. Hey Jerr62c,
      Thanks for dropping by and I appreciate the kind words! I always thought that the traditional black and white images look a bit too cold and I added a hint of warmth so the images look more pleasing. Just a personal taste though!

  2. Robin, do you know any resources on omd em1/5 filmmaking? Thanks in advance.

    1. Not really, I am not so much into filmmaking myself. However, E-M5 Mark II would be more suitable for movie shooting in comparison to other OM-D models.

  3. Yes very difficult with such harsh light, that's why they use softbox very close to have a light who "envelop" the face, look at her big nose in fulllight but you did a very good job on #4, maybe a simple white cloth tween the lamp and the subject would have change much... IMO

    1. Nah that is too much trouble. If lighting was the main concern, and if I was serious about getting the shots, I would have done very different shots. However, what is the fun of that? Not everything in photography has to be too serious and calculated. I saw imperfections in these shots and I displayed them here. By the way, the fourth shot was the least favourite of all my shots.

    2. Ok, to take the discussion a step further.
      First shot, my favourite component of the photograph is the candid laugh. It was natural, and unposed. There were posed shots earlier, which turned out too stiff and did not work for me. Her natural expression beamed through the imperfect lighting (Honestly I could have fire a flash from the side to mitigate this issue). Nothing can replicate that expression on her face.
      Skipping the second shot, looking at the third shot, it was the way the shot was composed. I saw the triangle shape created by the lights coming from left and right of the frame. That made an interesting framing on the subject!

      Not all portraits should have nice lights (studio llke). I understand these shots I am showing may not be good examples of portrait photography and can be improved in many ways. Nevertheless, my point is, we have to look beyond all these stereotypical guidelines and think of what makes a good portrait. Sometimes, it is as simple as how the model look at you. That is what I am getting at, but yeah, that also needs work!

  4. I don't know how you can say you don't do good portraits! So many of your street shots are portraits of ordinary people going about their daily lives. Let's just say that formal studio portraits are not your thing. But so many of your photos succeed brilliantly at conveying something of the mood or personality of the subject. Your informal unrehearsed shots convey so much more than a stiff composed portrait could ever do. These cafe shots are no exception - they are pleasing photos which use plain (and unhelpful) surroundings to good and sometimes striking effect (eg photo 3), and there seems to be good communication between subject and photographer. Keep doing what you do so well, Robin, we love it!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Keith! I just felt there are many things that can be improved from these shots. Nevertheless, it was an outing for many Olympus users and it would be selfish of me to spend too much time with the models. After all to create good portrait shots, the poses cannot be rushed, and I do have to pay attention to how the light falls on the subject (especially the face!).

  5. I love Sapphire Ker's work! He posts to the Olympus Worldwide Shooters group on Facebook, and his landscape and astrophotography work is just stunning. Looks like Malaysia is chock full of talented Olympus shooters!

  6. I love Sapphire Ker's work! He posts to the Olympus Worldwide Shooters group on Facebook, and his landscape and astrophotography work is just stunning. Looks like Malaysia is chock full of talented Olympus shooters!

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