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Five Tips for Better Portrait Photography

Five Tips for Better Portrait Photography

2020-01-22 | photography

What is Portrait Photography?

Quite a number of people often find it challenging to distinguish between photography and portrait photography. Certain individuals are often of the thought the two are one and the same thing. Basically, portrait photography is pretty different and a good amount of knowledge and skill is often needed for one to be a successful portrait photographer. In defining portrait photography, it can be described as an art of capturing the subject, for this case, a person or a group of individuals and the face is always the primary focus.

In portrait photography, the portrait photographer aims at capturing the face, putting more emphasis on both the facial features and the facial expressions as well and they are to be made predominant. One common misunderstanding that people have about portrait photography is that only the face is captured. In as much as the face is the primary target, the other parts of the body and even the background may be captured.

As stated earlier, there needs to be a good amount of skill and knowledge to be good at creating great portrait photographs. There are some essential tips that may be considered to help one be good at going about this type of photography. Some of the five most important tips include:

1 - Be Keen On The Composition Of The Photo

The composition of the photograph determines quite a lot whether it will give good results or otherwise. Initially, portrait photographs were taken with the subject facing directly to the lens of the camera. In as much as this may occasionally be inevitable, depending on what the photograph is to be used for, it often results in the subject looking somewhat weird and uptight. You should therefore have the subject pose at an angle that is likely to flatter their appearances.

For instance, you could have the subject turn at an angle to the camera or tilt the upper body at an angle to the lens. The main idea is to get the subject pose at interesting angles. You should also ensure that the subject poses while standing straight. This may seem obvious and may be ignored but it is very essential. It is particularly very essential in ensuring that the full and accurate height of the subject is represented correctly.

It is also important to note that each and every individual has got a good feature on their bodies. As a portrait photographer, this should be used as an advantage to get the photograph to look more awesome. It is up to the photographer to identify this feature and make good use of it. When the individual has got unique and cute curves, you should ensure that you capture them during the shot. If for the hair, the same should be done.

2 - Watch Out For The Hands

Just like you can find it difficult to handle your hands when delivering a speech, so it is when taking a portrait photograph. The hands can either bring a positive effect or a negative effect on a portrait photograph, depending on how you use them. Posing for the camera with your hands held down tends to bring that tense and anxious look and should therefore be avoided unless otherwise. There are however certain tricks that could be used to get the hands complement the photo. Taking the ladies as an example, the photographer should get them to keep their fingers curled. This gives them a more feminine look and makes the photo look great.

If nothing of this sort seems to work, then you might as well get them some work to do. For the pose, the hands could be used to adjust an earring, button up or even to adjust that tie, anything, as long as it is not idle and dangling around. You may also resort to having the subject hold something chic on their hands while posing for the photo.

3 - Keep The Frames Tight And The Eyes Locked

One important secret that is worth noting about portrait photography is that the fewer the objects captured, the better the results. The main focus is the face and the others are just used to supplement it and thus, there should not be much of them in the photo. To minimize the amounts of objects captured, you could begin by ensuring that you keep the frames as tight as you possibly can without compromising the quality of the photo.

The top of the head is not often very necessary in portrait photography, as a matter of fact; including it gives the photo a queer look. The eyes, being one of the most notable facial features is very important for a portrait photograph. Keeping them high in the photo tends to make them more prominent giving the photo even better qualities. By keeping the frames tight, the eyes appear to be higher on the captured image, an effect that is often positive for portrait photography.

As earlier said, the eyes are very important facial features when it comes to portrait photography. For better portrait photography, the photographer therefore has to ensure that the eyes are at their best. Having the, centered is normally the best way to give great results. From the camera’s point of view, rather than from the subject’s point of view, you should ensure that the iris is centered. Achieving the right position of the eyes could be daunting at times. With the right procedure however, this could be easily achieved.

There are basically 2 major ways of getting the right position of the eyes of the subject. First, you could hold to them your hands and instruct them to look at it. You can thereafter move it around until you have reached the position that you deem best for the shot. This is often the easiest and simplest method. Likewise, you could have the subject look at certain features around the vicinity until you are certain that the eyes are ready for the shot.

4 - Get Rid Of Tension Or Anxiety

One of the vital tip of getting the best portrait photography is to have the subject as calm as they could possibly be. If possible, they should pose for the camera and not seem to be. It should come out natural. For better portrait photography therefore, one has to figure out a way to get rid of the anxiety. Get the subject to relax before taking the photo.

One of the best ways to get the subject to relax is to create a friendly atmosphere. You can do this right when you meet, this especially if the photographer and the subject are meeting for the first time or when they are not very used to each other. Usually, to come up with better portrait photographs, there has to be prior discussion between the photographer and the subject. They have to discuss what angles the photographs are going to be taken at, how the subject should pose and how the subject is going to pose other features of the body like the hands. It is during this time that the photographer should ensure that the subject is completely free in their presence. You should therefore be friendly towards them during these discussions.

There are instances in which the subject may begin freaking out while posing for the camera. For better portrait photography, you should ensure that this does not happen. Try making faces at the subject to get them to smile while on the other end of the camera. You may also share jokes when they are posing, anything that is sure to make them smile or lough while there. You then take the photo immediately they have recovered from the laughter; you can rest assured that they will appear great after this.

5 - Make Good Use Of Sunlight

One of the major challenges that are faced by portrait photographers is the issue with lighting. What many are often unaware of or choose to ignore is the fact that natural light is the best for this type of photography, and any other type for that matter. For better portrait photography, one has to make maximum use of the sun as a source of light. You can be amazed at the results of the piece of work.

In the mornings and evenings, the sun often has a great effect on photography. You should therefore maximize your use on this and ensure that you use it for the better of the photography. You can do this by having the subject stand with their backs against the morning or the evening sun. The effect this often has on the outline of the subject is just amazing.

Care however has to be taken not to shoot in direct sunlight. If for scorching sunlight, you could have the subject stand under a shade or have the sun to one side of the, as it usually sends a great shadow to the other side of the face.

If all of these are looked at keenly, one can be sure that they will have amazing portrait photography.