Portraiture by FlorinaFeb 25, 2016 10:17AM ● By Bill Thomas
by Bill Thomas
“Portrait photography or portraiture is photography of a person or group of people that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject. Like other types of
portraiture, the focus of the photograph is usually the person’s face, although the entire body and the background or context may be included.” Wikipedia - 2015
Florina Romoser is a portrait photographer, a specialized field in the broad realm of picture taking. This type of reproduction is very theatrical. Dramatic compositions may incorporate various methods of lighting, mood, emotion, and depth. Subjects are seated against plain backgrounds or related settings such as drawing rooms, outdoor vistas, or in renditions of movements.
Portrait photographs are usually composed and captured in a studio where the photographer has control over the lighting and composition of the subject and can adjust the directions and intensities of the lighting.
Variations of lighting techniques involve three-point, which includes Key lighting to give shape to the subject(s), fill-in light which provides contrasts of light and shadow to a picture, and accent-lights, which separates the subject from the background. Techniques such as butterfly lighting with focus on both the subject and the rim of the picture, and accessory lighting which can add additional highlights or background definition through bouncing the lights via different sources such as windows, curtains or soft lighting methods, can also used
There are basically four approaches taken in portrait painting – the constructionist, environmental, candid, and creative. Each has been used over time for different reasons be they technical, artistic, or cultural. Evidentially, Florina is a master of all four.
Used primarily in most studio and social photography, the constructionist artist develops an idea around the portrait – happy family, romantic couple, trustworthy executive, etc. The environmentalist depicts subjects in their context be that work, leisure, social or family settings. The candid approach is where people are photographed without their knowledge going about their daily business. This method though often criticized has given the world superb and important images of people in various situations and places over the past century. Candid shots provide historical sources of information about people, and the creative method, sometimes using digital manipulation can produce special images of people. Lenses used by portrait photography cameras are classically fast, medium, telephoto, and dependent on their purposes.
Traditionally, we all have become familiar with the portraits of high school and senior college graduations, both group and individual. These date back to the 1880s in America, and today these images of people in the past are displayed in homes, many including pets, student athletes of both sexes in their letterman jackets or playing uniforms, and groups in whitewater rafts, atop mountains, or showing off their military uniforms.
Florina Romoser is a versatile, creative, experienced, family-interacting professional who has taught high school, and provided integrated software for business presentations while working with individuals and groups. Her experiences in her own education and communicative endeavors are extensive and have broadened as the military wife of a Marine officer, Major Mathew Romoser, and mother of three, taking her far beyond the skills developed as a noted portrait photographer.
Initially, arriving in the United States with her Romanian parents at the age of six, she spoke no English but was fluent in both German and Romanian. Currently, along with her now flawless English, she still serves as a translator and interpreter in the two European languages. She grew up in Pennsylvania, her husband in Maryland; however, the Marines have taken them to duty stations in North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas and, now, Camp Pendleton, San Clemente. Major Romoser has also served in Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait, among other Middle East assignments.
Graduating from Dickson College in Pennsylvania in 2001, with majors in history and German, Florina moved to Washington, first working for the vice president of government health plans and, later, as a staff assistant to Senator R. Santorum, interacting with constituents, lobbyists, politicians, and Capitol Building tourists. Her next adventure was as a history and German teacher in a North Carolina high school. Besides the development of curricular lesson plans, she honed her computer and presentational skills.
Following that, she created her own unique website-based company, Military CakeToppers.com. Among other innovations including the development of marketing materials and expanding awareness of the product line, she maintained a huge client database adhering to all state and federal regulations. This organization is still under her advisement.
In 2008, Florina became president of the Charleston, South Carolina Chapter of Romance Writers of America. In this challenging executive position, she managed the entire operation, initiating and coordinating meetings, overseeing volunteers, conducting workshops, writing articles for publications, and representing the organization nationally.
Simultaneously, she also served as a Recruit Presentational Specialist for a naval credit union in Parris Island, South Carolina where she provided services to Marine recruits and their families on financial services. She regularly addressed groups numbering two to 350. She also moved into her photography career during this period, engaging in the special field of portrait work which involved photographing weddings and individual and group posed renditions, as well as teaching other photographers. She has also received numerous awards from the Professional Photographer of America organization as a portrait artist, for wedding, family, and best digital and other forms of photography. She is a member of a number of photography organizations throughout the nation. In short, she’s a “real pro.”
With three active young ones, all with unusual names: two boys Shechem17 months and Shiloh eight; and Kidron, a ten-year old girl, she’s also a very active mom. Shechem, who is epileptic, has introduced Florina into a new form of photography, in which she is very involved. It’s uniquely named the Faces of Epilepsy and she has already created a masterful calendar featuring the joyful faces of children who suffer from this malady for each month in the calendar. She has already developed a website and begun new activities for this special organization.
I requested information on their experiences in portrait photography with two of Florina’s clients. Tania Carrell and her husband of Dana Point were accustomed to sending holiday cards to their families and friends accompanied by snapshots. Upon visiting her mother, a 30-year resident of San Clemente, she noticed a Florina advertisement and pondered the idea of a professional portrait Christmas card of herself and her husband. Arranging for a photograph session, she said, “…the two of us had the best pictures taken we’ve ever had. The flattering posing and lighted background provided a wonderful experience. It was very professional and relaxing. We’ll be going back.” Their card recipients will probably agree.
Christina Rolson, also the wife of a Marine with five special need children, appreciates Florina’s talents, including her activities as a working mom and small business owner.
“I’m amazed by her talent and creativity,” Christina said. “She’s introduced me to fine arts photography: her work is very special. Our pictures are still in an editing phase; their purpose is to professionally capture our family’s photographic images for the present.”
Florina provides the following printed offering to prospective clients: “Your experience will begin with a pre-shoot phone consultation to discuss concepts and outfits to customize your dream photo session. Upgrades are available for an additional fee if you’d like to include a hair or make-up session. About a week after your photography session, you’ll meet with me a second time at my studio in downtown San Clemente for an ordering/viewing session. This fun occasion features refreshments and a choice of more than 100 images. Finally, your creatively edited portrait will arrive two to three weeks later.”
There is an initial photographic session fee, and from there pricing depends on the numbers and types of portraits created.
Contact: Florina Photography