Portrait photography tips are the art of capturing the inherent character inside the subject. While this definition is a bit philosophical, portrait photography goes way beyond that. It isn’t just clicking pictures of the human visage. Great portrait photography is a combination of the right technique with an artist’s expression.
#1 Focus On the Subject
The most important aspect of portrait photography is your subject. You should make the subject comfortable with you. It is a crucial factor for a successful photography session.
Firstly connect with your client before the photoshoot. If possible, meet him/her in person before D-Day. It is best to get to know each other and letting the subject know more about your style of photography. He/She should no what exactly you will be looking for in the shoot.
Discuss your ideas with them. Take their opinions. And find the most efficient way to carry out the photoshoot. Even if you are familiar with the subject, many people get uncomfortable in front of the camera. It is always better to keep communicating with the model before and during the shoot.
Using a longer zoom lens to step out of the immediate proximity of your subjects can make them lose the shyness or stiffness of being photographed.
#2 Finding the Right Location
Getting the location right can save you a lot of trouble with fixing images in photo editing. The location you choose influences the final results to a great extent. Shooting outdoors in natural light gives the best results. Though it has some drawbacks, it is a comparatively better choice. You need to plan according to the weather, time of the day, and environmental conditions as the day progress. You need to work on the foundation!
Shooting in direct sunlight produces harsh shadows. I recommend choosing mornings or late afternoons when the sunlight gets diffused. You will get a lovely, warm, natural glow in your images.
When shooting indoors, you have much more control over the technical things. You need to plan your lighting arrangements properly. It complements the model’s clothes, backdrops, and the overall mood of the image.
#3 Take Candid Shots
Getting subjects to pose according to your needs sometimes gives less than optimal results. Many people are not comfortable posing.
This discomfort is particularly experienced by children when they are the subject of portrait photography. In such cases, posed images can seem unnatural and unexpectedly forced.
After getting your subjects comfortable, shoot them doing their usual, natural activities. It can yield fantastic portrait shots that will satisfy both you and the client.
#4 Capturing emotions and expressions
Artistic photography is mostly about finding emotions and expressions in the subject of portrait pictures. The image should convey the exact emotions and a story in it.
Getting your subject the emotions is easier said than done. Just make sure that your subject should avoid fake smiles and blank looks. It looks unnatural.
A genuine sparkle in the eye, a faint smile, and a confident expression are the recipes for creating shining portrait shots. Work with your subject and give them time to get into the zone. Forcing or hurrying this process never works. So calm down, take some time, get them comfortable, and let your images sparkle with emotions!
#5 Choosing the Right Background
The focus in portraiture, as expected, is on the subject model.
However, there are a lot more intricacies and subtleties than just that. Sometimes, an interesting background can add a lot of innocence and drama to the photograph. It helps your subject to stand out from the ordinary images. It creates a contrasting effect.
In most cases, though, blurring the background correctly works. It can add more emphasis to the subject. So it is crucial to see how the background will turn out. After choosing the correct background, adjust the shutter and aperture accordingly.
#6 Using Props for Greater Influence
Adding props to your portrait photography adds a dash of color, excitement, and impact to the shots. It brings out that X-factor of the image.
Using props can creatively completely alter the nature of the photograph. The great thing is you can develop your signature style by experimenting with different aspects of the props like the shades, shapes, textures, and colors.
While taking a photograph is undoubtedly essential, beginners often neglect the importance of proper editing which causes them great loss. Retouching in professional portrait photography plays a crucial role.
A lot of the “mesmerizing” feel of the images is due to appropriate photo editing techniques. There is plenty of photo editing software available in the market.
Even if you know the basics, some simple techniques can significantly improve the quality of your pictures. Programs like Adobe Photoshop are there just for enhancing your images.
Consider a situation where you have taken a shot where a part of your body is visible which is unnecessary. Now you need to crop that part to retain focus on the visage.
While cropping extremities, you should be careful! You shouldn’t crop too less, and not too much either. For example, cropping half a bicep will make your image look better proportioned.
Always avoid cutting off fingers, shoes, or hair from the image, as these are the main parts of your portrait. Cropping them out may ruin your portrait!
As said above, photography along with good photo editing skills has a greater potential of making the images stand out in social media. I hope you learned a lot of new things from this blog.
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