We love to look at stunning portraits. The subject may be our friend, family members, models or perfect stranger. A well taken portrait tells us stories, creates some mystery or brings out some memories. Good portraits also reveal the true personality of someone.
So how do you capture a good portrait? There are many different portrait photography tips, but these are my top 9. If you can follow these, then you will see a big improvement in your portraiture.
Make a Frame
When something gets in the way of your shot the first thing you think to do is move but this isn’t always necessary. Finding spots where branches, walls, fences, flowers and other objects can add colour and interest to your composition by creating a frame. Just remember to use a longer focal length to blur your frame so all focus still falls on your subject.
Make the Model Comfortable
In order for the portrait to look natural and in order to bring out the true personality of your subject, you must make your model comfortable. He or she must feel at home in order to be free and spontaneous. Make sure you spend some time with your model before starting the shoot to get to know him or her better and also make him or her comfortable. Also, don’t forget to smile and make some jokes or talk about something which interests the model.
Angle and Pose
Pose and the angle of the body play a key roll. Looking at the camera with motionless can be boring. Try to flare up your portraits with some twist. May be it is an inviting smile, a sexy expression, a flamboyant look, tilting the chin down or up, turning the head back while walking forward, or sitting and looking up. Experiment with the pose and angle surely you will get some grate portraits.
Focus On the Eye
It is said that ‘Eyes are the mirror of mind’. That’s true in portrait too. When taking portrait, your focus should be at your models eyes. Eyes have a lot of things to tell. If you are a good photographer, you should be able to bring those things out in your photographs. And its not always a smiling face which makes good portrait. Try capturing something different while keeping focus on eyes.
Take a good look around your shot before you hit the shutter button. Make sure there are no lampposts growing out of your subject’s head and that cars or rubbish bins aren’t stealing your attention. Plain backgrounds will always work best, as they help place emphasis on your subject, however you can’t always find a plain wall to take your shots against so make use of your camera’s wider apertures and throw the distracting background out of focus.
Use Flash Outsight
Bright sunlight will create ugly shadows on your subject’s face so use a fill flash to eliminate them. Try to use the flash from sight as it will give the image more dimensions. While on cloudy days you can leave your flash in your camera bag as the soft, diffused light the clouds help create is perfect for portraiture work.
Avoid Bright Clothing
Remember, a portrait is about the subject, not the clothes they’re wearing. When the subject is wearing really bright and colorful clothing, it’s going to be distracting for the viewer, who is going to be automatically drawn to it. This is often overlooked because it’s down to the subject/client, rather than the photographer, but you need to pay close attention to what they’re wearing if you want to get the best results. Obviously, if you’re taking fashion photos, this rule goes out of the window.
Get High or Get low
Taking portraits is not always shooting at eye level. Positioning the camera high or low while keeping the focus on the eyes brings out interesting features and adds different flavors to the portraits. So make the model sit, stand up, climb up to the stool or ladder or stairs and shoot. Or you climb up, or position your camera high and shoot. You will have more and more interesting options.
Makeup is an essential element for most portrait shots. Makeup not only covers up blemishes, it also makes the model’s face glowing. Sometimes creative makeup also can be done to give your model a trendy or different types of look depend on her personality. It may also make feel your model more confident.
Capturing portraits especially good portraits is not an easy tusk by any stretch of the imagination. Hope with those portrait photography tips, and a bit of creativity, you can create gorgeous portraits no matter where you are!