Film Noir classic portrait

Amy S film noir classic film black and white portrait

Creating photos in the style of classic movies is a lot of fun, exciting and can give you unique, attention getting pictures.

Amy and I wanted to create a picture that looked like a portrait from a classic film.  Film Noir was a style of photography and film making that emphasized drama, strong lighting and shadows and a sense of mystery.  Films of this type were mostly created in the 1940s and 1950s with stars such as Humprey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.  Many were stylish crime dramas.

Yet even today, Film Noir has influenced newer films such as Chinatown, Sin City and others in the use of dramatic lighting and plots, as well as sultry stars.  And it's a great inspiration for skilled photographers to create dramatic portraits.

Part of the key to creating this picture was using a vintage 4x5 film camera.  This allowed us to capture lots of detail, without showing too many skin flaws.  It also meant we were able to show detail in even the darkest areas of the picture.  On many digital cameras, the dark areas would be lifeless and would have lost detail and character.

Also lighting is key.  Notice the highlighting of the hat, to separate it from the background. And of course, the right clothing, props and background are important too.