Portrait photography, from a hobby to a passion
I’m Krisztián Pordán. I was born in a small town called Mór, in Hungary. I got into photography through my elder brother, who started taking pictures in the past. Seeing him taking pictures and making art with his camera, made me realise I could be good at this and made me interested in photography. And I could not be more thankful for that.
Before photography, I worked in the nightlife as a DJ, and after 19 years, I stopped and pursued my new love, photography. Recently I started making new mixes and sets, due to a lot of free time because of the current situation. You can run away from your past, as they say, but to be honest, I don’t want to.
As we know, the existing circumstances influence many industries, but fortunately, Covid-19 didn’t influence my passion. I arrange shootings every week (of course taking every safety precaution, and being careful), therefore I can improve my work and make the best out of these desperate times.
Right now we are also working on a new project, making a short film for beginners about outside portrait photography with natural lights, and it will be available soon at http://creativerevolution.hu/
One of my biggest accomplishments is also connected to Fuji. A photographer whose work I admire has a talent scout in Hungary, where I participated in this year. From 1000 people I got the 9th place, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I’ve learned and improved a lot. It was a magnificent experience.
Let me talk about my first Fujifilm camera, the X-E1 with an XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens. My favourite feature is that it’s compact and small, and wherever I went, it was incredibly comfortable, easy to access and carry along the way. Every detail about the camera was perfect.
As we know, Fuji just released the 4th generation in this series, but in my opinion, the first one has the best sensor. I just really love the film look effect that it creates.
When I first started to work with photography, in the beginning, I made photos of everything that I came across and thought it was beautiful, from nature to buildings. But after years of pursuing my hobby, I realised that my passion was capturing people with my camera. Portrait photography is what I do the best and enjoy the most, but sometimes I find myself shooting streets and buildings too.
As I mentioned, I was working with music as a DJ, and it helped a lot with my hobby, simply because I always met with beautiful people, who I became friends with and I could practice with them.
One thing that I wanted to mention is the difference between outdoor and indoor shootings and which one I enjoy the most doing and why. To be honest, my personal preference is to go with natural light. I’m always searching for natural light, for example big windows, even when I’m shooting in a studio or apartment.
I prefer shooting outdoors, on the streets, for example, because there isn’t a huge contrast between shadow and light there. It creates such a smooth and ‘eye-pleasing’ result.
As a tip for using natural and available light, sometimes they can create some “bags” under the model’s eyes. My advice is just to ask the model to lift their face/chin, and the under-eye circles will be gone.
When working in portrait or fashion photography, one of the most important things is learning how to give instructions to the models and communicate with them during a photo shoot. I don’t like to give specific instructions. I prefer spontaneous poses.
When the model runs out of ideas/poses, I like to suggest where to place their arms, which direction to look at, just to give a light direction. And of course, we can inspire from Instagram/Pinterest together and develop some ideas.
In 2017 (when Fuji X Passion published an interview with me) I used The Fuji X-E1 and the 35mm F2 lens. After that, I switched to the X-T1 with the same 35mm F2 lens, because I wanted to level up a bit, try a newer technology. I loved that it gave me more freedom for the sake of the ability to tilt the LCD screen.
When we’re shooting the model next to a wall, it can get really hard to find the best angle and see what you are doing simultaneously. The moveable screen can come in really handy in these situations. Then I switched to the X-T2, which I bought from one of my dear friends, and I’m incredibly satisfied with it, together with the XF 35mm F1.4.
The main difference between the Fuji 35mm F2 and the 35mm F1.4 and why I chose the latter, was to get a better bokeh with the larger aperture model. As a result, we can better separate the background from the model. And with the wider aperture, I still can get a perfect sharpness.
As for zooms VS fixed focal length lenses, this is an exciting topic. Each zoom and fixed lens has its own beauty. I’ve used both of them in the past, and somehow I end up preferring fixed lenses.
My favourite lens of all time is the 50mm F1.0. As I mentioned above, with a wider aperture, the background is perfectly blurred, but the main subject still is needle-sharp.
For post-processing I mainly use Photoshop, and Lightroom for cataloguing.
I rarely use presets in Lightroom. I like to mix my own colours, and only when I shoot a series with similar or identical background and light conditions, I use the presets that I have made.
“My name is Krisztián Pordán. I’m from Budapest, Hungary.
Is it a hobby or is it a passion? For me, photography is my only and true love. The moment I take my camera in my hands the whole world opens up before me, shows a completely new, a ‘never seen before’ side.”