I love simplicity, minimalism, and beauty in mundane things. I think it’s no coincidence that I found a new style of photography, while I was searching the web for inspiration. Style’s name is Kinfolk. I got very excited, even intrigued. Everything new just fills me up with energy, I feel like I’m going to explode if I won’t share this with you! Therefore, here is my post on how to take a Kinfolk photo!
How to Take a Kinfolk Photo
Whenever I learn something new, I try to do it myself, that is the best part of growing up as a photographer. Practice makes perfect, don’t you think? So I went for it and organized a photoshoot as soon as I could. The result was awesome for the first time! But before I’ll dive into photo shoot itself, let me explain what Kinfolk is.
Primarily Kinfolk was a magazine. Seven years passed before it became more than just a magazine due to creation the whole philosophy of life. The ones, who were looking for the quiet and measured rhythm of life, will not to find the better place to get inspiration. The style is built on values of life, there’s nothing redundant, nothing out of place. You can see the aesthetics of fellowship, health and food through beautiful pictures of homemaking. The feeling of such ordinary tasks like preparing meals or picking flowers come with kind of pride, those tasks feel important in Kinfolk lifestyle. I find this style really close to Scandinavian minimalism, which probably is one of its parents, but this call of nature in home environment makes it unique.
There are essentially several rules to make a portrait in Kinfolk style. I will tell you about a few of them, there are more, so I intentionally leave them out so you would embark on a journey yourself, just like I did.
Find a Neutral background
If you want a classic Kinfolk portrait, you can choose a simple background, it has to be one-color. Ecological and natural backgrounds are also acceptable – solid color brick or stone, linen curtain, old wooden door, grey barn wood siding, you get the idea. It is a backbone of a simple but stylish portrait.
Use Natural Lightening
It is the foundation of any good photograph.
You can use front light, it falls directly on a model, removing unnecessary shadows. The look becomes light, delicate and soft. Skin looks much softer under this kind of light.
Side light is used for more dramatic look, it falls on a model with a beautiful gradient creating majestic tonal shifts.
You can get a pleasant fill light outside on a cloudy day. With sunlight you get ambient light dispersed by clouds in the sky. No need to be afraid of getting parts of image overexposed or getting deep shadows on model’s face. It is hard to do this on a sunny day, sadly.
You can get good light inside the room near window, but you have to place your model at least 1-1,5 meter away from it. Window doesn’t have to be large, even narrow beam of light, gently squeezing into the room, can do wonders with your image. You’ll get true cinematography feeling, trust me on this!
But please, do not use room lights or lamps, any fluorescent light will kill the mood of Kinfolk photography, this light can really defy any high hopes and ideas.
The simplicity of look and minimalism in the picture’s frame.
The main rule here – do not use anything unnecessary. Your main purpose should be to show beauty of simple things. Beginning from a background, and ending by the look of a model. Do not use unnatural postures of a glamourous woman, pursed lips, exposed curves of the body, too much make-up or royal dresses.
That is why it is easy to do Kinfolk portrait at home. Simple linen dress, one-color turtleneck, a simple hat can be a nice addition if you want to get a bit creative. Add a neutral eco-background, take a deep breath and just be yourself. You’ll get a real yourself on a picture with Kinfolk feel to it.
Play hide and Seek
When you pick up Kinfolk magazine, you’d notice how skillfully models hide behind some trivial objects. This interesting skill can be very useful for coming out bloggers, who are still a bit shy of their ever-growing audience. On the other hand, are there are some people, who are desperate for attention, but cannot show their faces, because they work for government? Anyway, shy or not, this is a very Kinfolk way to do a picture, grab a flower in its pot, or maybe a magazine or similar, place it before yourself, so your face is hidden, but take a small peek. Picture’s ready!
The Rule of Contrast
It is a golden rule of Kinfolk. The use of contrast is essential, whether it is color or light, it must be there every time. For example, a dark background and bright clothes of a model or bright background and a dark silhouette of a person well defined within a frame. There is a trick of contrast of sizes, which is very unique in Kinfolk photography. A picture where background takes most of the frame has an airy feeling: the small figure standing in front of skyscraping trees can look and feel truly epic.
Favorite Things You Do
The big building block of creating Kinfolk photo can be your artistic work. These kind of portraits that can be named “artist creates”: a chef majestically throws a pancake in the air, a mom doing her finishing touch on the muffin by sprinkling chocolate on top of it, a painter all smeared creating a marvelous sea with a stroke of a brush, and so on. This is a true golden mine for all people of artistic profession, who want to push their brand to a new level. If one has this kind of picture representing his work, this person can open truly remarkable possibilities on the internet. And who knows, maybe one gets his own 15 minutes of fame.
Using these rules as my guideline, I created the picture you see. Simple white background, a wooden floor, dark blue clothes for my model to achieve contrast, a comfortable yet interesting pose, and the model hides a bit behind her hand and nothing else. I set my aperture at 4, and adjusted ISO and shutter speed accordingly. For editing I used Rockshutter’s wonderful Infinity collection, which was a perfect finishing touch I needed.
Equipment used for Kinfolk photo:
Thanks for reading my post on how to take a Kinfolk photo! Please make sure to check out some of my other posts and share it if you enjoyed or learned anything!