Top 5 Portrait Photography Tips
We have all taken snapshots of family and friends with our digital camera and have wanted to capture something special about our subjects. This is especially true when we take photos of family and friends as we have a personal connection with them. So next time you take out your Sony, Canon or Olympus digital camera keep these tips in mind so you can create some memorable portraits of those close to you.
Taking a portrait requires some practise and some forethought about your subject. This will mean thinking about the location of the photos as well as camera settings. There are also different styles to shoot in and this can be posed or candid and both offer opportunities for some great photos.
A candid shot is very different than a ‘posed’ portrait photo as it seeks to capture a subject when it is not waiting to be photographed. This will allow you to capture your subject in a more natural pose and works very well for people who are not used to posing for a camera. Most good models will be able to look like they are having a candid shot taken while they are posing.
A good tip for taking candid shots is to use telephoto lenses to be away from the subject. This is because (as you have probably noticed) as soon as a camera is present people tend to automatically pose. Having a bit of distance between you and subject makes them less aware they are being photographed. This style of photography has become increasingly popular for weddings as it captures the day in a more realistic way.
An Angled Approach
Changing the angle of your portrait shots can create some great images. This will affect what part of the face and body you are shooting and offers a chance to show more of a profile. There are some fun options as well which include standing over the subject to capture the face with better lighting.
Change the Lighting
Lighting is very important in portrait photography and you should always pay special attention to how the light is falling on your subjects face. If you have lighting equipment then this makes it easy to adjust and to have some soft light on the subjects face. Otherwise you will have to work with natural light but remember it is not always necessary to light the entire face.
Lighting gives you the opportunity to focus on your subjects best features and this could include eyes or lips. Experiment by just capturing certain parts of your subjects face and by changing the lighting to try different shots. Ideally you should have two levels of lighting: a main light on the face and a secondary light which can even be from behind to create some great effects.
It’s All in the Eyes
Eyes are very important in portrait photos so you want to shoot them from different angles. You can try shots with your subject looking at you or more candid styles with the subject looking away or even over the camera.
Use Some Props
Props can be a great way to help your subjects feel more relaxed and also to add some life to the shots. Using props can help convey a message or simply to project what your subject is interested in. Examples of good use of props can be found in product advertising where the subject is holding or wearing the product advertised.