Joseph Zeltsman passed away in , Manchester, Massachusetts. The obituary was featured in The Daily Record on January 4, , and The Star-Ledger on. Portrait/nature photographers. Joe Zeltsman’s course on portraiture at: http:// Joe Zeltman, a portrait special was his mentor and the person who developed the very simple approach to posing Monte used. Zeltsman’s tutorial on posing and.
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Discussion in ‘ Leica and Rangefinders ‘ started by rowlettMay 27, Joe Zeltsman’s excellent tutorial on portraiture Discussion in ‘ Leica and Rangefinders ‘ started by rowlettMay 27, I gleaned this from the “People Photography” forum, but after having gone through it, I couldn’t resist posting it here. It seems like a wealth of portraiture and posing information which is not really the most common use of a Leica, but what the heck.
Excellent if you want your portraits to look like the typical fare from Olan Mills or other “shoot-by-numbers” studios. That’s not to say that none of the info is useful, but the applications I saw on the site were lifeless and trite. Lifeless and trite to you, maybe, but I’ll bet the people who ask him to take their photos don’t think that. The poses are as dated as the clothes which the subjects are wearing.
Modern portraiture demands a heck of a lot more than your parent’s engagement shots. I remember reading an article written my Monty Zucker, a legend amongst wedding photographers.
I really didn’t like the look of his results at all. Many of these old school images showed little emotion IMO, whereas todays ‘good’ portraits convey, sexiness, sensuality, love, serenity, whatever the photographer wants to get. Case in point, Mike’s portraits are ‘alive’, whereas many of the examples in this set of articles are ‘flat’.
Having said all of that, I believe that the basic concepts and posing techniques are important for group portraits, weddings and engagements so in itself these articles are a useful read. But you need more if you want your subject’s energy to come across.
To get the most out of your sitter s you need more than just a set of posing rules. I have no experience in portraiture formalbut I figured that understanding some of the principles of the “classical” style would be beneficial. The classical studio approach is still a money maker! The portraiture and other photos on that site are truly deadful.
I know what I mean The men look like corporate CEOs with awful secrets behind the patrician exteriors from the s and the women all look uptight and nervy. Not a real looking human amongst the lot of em. The undead, zombies, mugshots from an American dream that turned ugly in the s.
Nasty, nasty shots of either frightened or frightening people with skeletons bursting out of closets left right and centre. But on the other hand the patrician middle aged males may be kind and wise and the women wholesome and motherly and the kids all went on to become Leica owning and well rounded indivduals.
I have a very active imagination!
Aha, hhe, hhe, hhe, hhe, boom, boom!! You’re my childhood hero. I can’t wait to get a pair of those wild plaid pants to wear with a blazer! This style of portraiture makes the subjects look like life members of the Rotarians or the Kansas Republican Party.
Compare this to the work of masters such as Newman and Avedon, and you will wonder why anyone would want to be portrayed in this xeltsman and why any self-respecting photographer would be party to it.
I know, I know, it’s what the clients expect, but what’s wrong with encouraging them to expect more?
A specific point about wedding photographs: Even after ten-years a set of wedding photographs can be frightening. Remember those powder blue tuxedos with frilly shirts!!
Today’s trend toward more classic black tuxedos and simple, but elegant, dresses is a good thing in my opinion.
This coupled to the growing trend toward a ‘reportage’ or ‘candid’ style gives the collection of images more longevity. Portraits however are a slice from life and should show the person at that time in all the latest fashion – hair and couture Have any of you ever heard the old saying that the customer is always right?
I also had hair like David Cassidy’s. I have the picture in my bedroom. No wonder I never get lucky in there.
When people ask me for portraits, I try to assess what they want. If they want nice, color, posed photos, I tell ’em to go to Olan Mills or Sears.
Those people know how to do it. Even if I could do those, why bother? Most often, the people pictures photographers like appeal to the shooter, not the subject. If you want to make people pictures the people will admire, pay for and want more of, go classic.
If you are an amateur and want to stay an amateur not that there’s anything wrong with that! Even if it’s no good you’ll be happy.
The idea that the “classic” images in Zeltsman’s tutorial are the hallmark of a professional while portraits that differ from that formulaic style are indicative of an amateur is the funniest thing I’ve read on photo. I have to agree with Mike D on this one. All of these books have and photgraphers exhibit tremendous portrature while at the same time exhibiting totally different styles.
We’ve done the Zeltsman discussion before on this site, but thankfully it’s disappeared. I have wondered on occasion about those mottled backdrops in truly ghastly colors. Why do these live on, decade after decade? Why not something like this? Just kidding, I know both subject and photographer are under quite severe budgetary constraints, usually.
I bet Hans Beckert would love these photos though.
If I ever took over the world, one of my first actions would be to ban mall portrait studios. My opinion is that anyone starting out doing portraiture would do theirselves well to learn all that Mr.
Zeltzman has to teach, and then go ahead and do their own style of portraiture in whatever way pleases them or pleases the client. I too have books by Jow and Mapplethorp and Bernhard and Avedon, etc. And there will be times when clients will want zelltsman types of portraits and a photographer needs to know how to do them, both technically and psychologically. But, if one is running a portrait studio and Mom comes in and says I want a 30 x 40 in the “classic” tradition, you need to know how jke do the Zeltzman style as well.
That said, I find personally that location portraiture with proper lighting gives the best results possible. What matters is that the person who paid for it, likes it.
Clearly, people like Mr Zeltsman meet a need. Some of the people who hang out here have different ideas, which is fine, but they are in a tiny minority and should realise that claiming what they like is ‘good’ and other styles are ‘bad’ just reveals the narrowness of their thinking.
Priceless stuff for anybody wanting to do a mock classic portrait shoot. You could do a killer fashion session with those poses, clothes and backgrounds if you had the right models. A very hip parody that would go over in any european fashion magazine.
You should have posted this in the “how to make a million as a fashion photographer” forum, not here. The problem I have with the images presented as examples from the site is that in my mind they show how people look but say little about who they are.
I could be reading more into the image I provided a link for but my gut tells me I’m not.
zelteman Try this and you will find other, better portraits galore: Smith Another good link: To elaborate, this is actually a very useful set of how to do its, in classic portraiture. The posing instructions, and lighting are worth studying and absorbing. The results may be formulaic, but there is well-evolved thought process behind them, developed in the 19th and early 20th century. And should one wish to develop a different style, one will need to hone one’s craft and zfltsman just as much.
But I still hate those darn backgrounds. I thought that the point of portraiture was is to bring out some dominant feature, some essence, of the subject’s personality. Do people really want portraits zeltxman look like everyone else’s? Ever hear of ‘sheeple’? I dont believe this.
So many people taking this person serious. With this Zeltsman so hung up on little rules, it’s no wonder he brings ou the dork in his subjects.
With the general public much more visually literate then in the time seltsman was operating, I doubt if this will bring in a good income, jooe alone artistic satisfaction.
He is relying on the exposure latitude of negative film, which degrades his image quality. And with transparency he’d have a hard time. With digital this goes totally of the mark.
Never varying his aperture means he understands nothig of depth of field, which can be an zeltsmann tool for the portrait photographer. What I find strange is: Staying in business means there was something he was doing right, and since it was not his photography, it was probably his sense of business. There he could teach many of us including me a lot of meaningful things, there. You must log in or sign up to reply here. Share This Page Tweet. Your name or email address: