Here are a few portrait tips to help you achieve success in portrait photography. Every photographer, whether beginner or experienced, needs to stick to basic knowledge and be extremely careful and decisive when shooting a portrait.
The right background for the photo should work for the model. When the viewer looks at a photo, his gaze should be attracted by the person depicted on him, and not by the piece of furniture behind his back.
What to Focus On?
A portrait photo would be meaningless if you don’t remember the main detail in a person’s face – the eyes. Eyes are the mirror of the soul. Even the poorest photo can be saved by the expressive eyes of a model. You need to focus on the eyes.
Emotions will help to give the picture a mood. They can be different: anger, sadness, joy, disappointment, etc. The fact that the model itself is emotional and charismatic helps a lot.
Portraits require careful attention to lighting. The best time for a photo is either early morning or evening. Taking pictures in cloudy, cloudy weather is always easier and more convenient. In sunny weather, light can “block the frame” and blind the model, which is extremely inconvenient and takes a lot of time in post-processing. Interesting shots are obtained when the photographer is experimenting with light and shadows: lace is reflected on the face or the lines of a fishing net, etc.
There should be no distracting details in the frame. All attention should be directed to the subject of the portrait. If what the photographer sees in the viewfinder does not suit him, it is better to get closer to the model or look for a better angle.
Well, here are 11 tips for taking portrait photos.
1. Shoot Children at the Height of the Child
It is enough to sit down or kneel down. First, this is a very correct psychological move: when a child is with you, he does not feel superior to him. In this regard, he opens up and enters into friendly contact with you. Second, the best photographs are obtained when the photographer is in line with the child’s gaze.
2. Try to Shoot People in a Comfortable Environment
If a person is uncomfortable in the conditions you have created for him, he will turn out to be constrained and squeezed in the photo. Ask what he would like and where he is most comfortable. For example, if a child is more interested in playing on the street with a ball, it is possible to photograph just such moments, and not drag him with tears in his eyes to a photo studio.
3. If You Do not Have the Right Lighting Equipment
If you are shooting portraits in an apartment with a lack of light, try positioning the model near a window so that the light falls on the subject at an angle.
4. Don’t Be Afraid! Embody the Most Unimaginable Ideas
Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you decide to take a photo of a child, give him paints and he will give the desired result himself. If it’s a girl – make an interesting body art on the face using rhinestones and stones, etc.
5. Choose the Right Colors
Colors must match. Black-white, blue-yellow, etc. In bright colors, shoot in dim light; in light and warm colors, shoot in lighted rooms, outdoors.
6. Position People Correctly
This is perhaps one of the most common mistakes. Models must not be facing the sun! It is necessary to put the person with his back to the sun and illuminate with a reflector.
7. Prepare the Props for Photo Shoot
If suddenly you see that exactly one hour has passed since the beginning of the portrait shooting, and the model still feels discomfort, offer her some kind of props: gum to blow bubbles, flowers, a toy, etc. As practice shows, with such items it is easier to enter the desired image.
8. About Publication
If you decide to post your work on the Internet and all kinds of photo banks, you need to discuss this issue with the model in advance. This is done so that the model then has no complaints about posting her photos without permission. If you take pictures on TFP CD terms, which in principle is considered free of charge, you must conclude an agreement (model release) to transfer all rights to you.
9. About Sharpness
Try to check the sharpness of the eyelashes. If you enlarge the frame to the eyelashes, you can see if the picture is in focus. Those. if each eyelash is visible, then the frame is in focus; if the eyelashes are blurred, there is no focus.
10. Use a Reflector
It will be useful for you to create good light. If you chose 5 in 1 reflector, you have a number of advantages. At least it will be easier to shoot in sunny weather. Use the white side for bright light, like in a studio; silver with a little light to add it; the gold side is suitable for shooting at sunset and the black side is suitable for shading.
11. Take 2-3 Photos in a Row
Even in portraits, it can be difficult to capture the moment, and it takes a split second before the right emotion gets into the frame. So, if you shoot several frames in a row, the chances of catching this “instant” increase.
The most important thing in any shooting is to be yourself. “Stew in your own juice” and develop your vision. Learn to explain to the client what you want to see from him, choose your model carefully, try to bring something special to your photos, hone your skills and then your pictures will “live”!