Portrait Photography

Portrait photography for budding photographers

March 26, 2019

‘Portraiture’ is the art of capturing the personality in a better way than a person existing with one. The term itself means portraying the person, group of people or any phenomena which beautifies the backdrops using lights, depicting decorum, emotions, and postures. This combination of concepts creates what we know as the idea of portrait photography. Portrait photography is incredibly challenging because you have to make a person the subject with their myriad quirks. For beginners, portrait photography can be quite a challenge. So here are some tips to help you get a hang of it.

Passion

Passion is a key driver for taking photographs. If you know how to focus on the subject, how to use the lighting to your advantage, and how to compose a picture, it is possible to take incredible pictures without a professional camera.

Using a camera

The second factor one should keep in mind is the appropriate usage of camera, irrespective whether you are a professional or an unprofessional. You would need to have at least the basic understanding of the camera work to take such photographs. Always make your foundation strong so you are able to take the perfect pictures, especially if you wan to turn this into a profession.

Portrait Apparatus

There are several types of portraits including mobile portraiture, window light portraiture, traditional portraiture, and headshots. The type of portrait you take dictates the apparatus you will use. Lenses and supportive instruments such as tripod, flashlights, accessory lights, background lights, umbrella, soft box, snoots, barn doors, flags and gobos are just a few things that might be required. So do your research and make sure you have the right tools.

Lighting

Lighting is the key to get a good photograph, whether it is a portrait or any other type of composition. If you are shooting portraits outdoors, you can choose a shaded area on a sunny day or shoot during an overcast day for the right type of light. Make sure the light is soft and not harsh in order to take the best pictures. And if you can’t find good lighting outside, create lighting in closed spaces. Always set your portrait against a dark backdrop if you are shooting at night.

Help the subjects pose

You might not be in front of the camera, but it is still necessary to learn how to make the right pose for a portrait. This is essential as you need to help your subject be comfortable in front of the camera and give directions. Things like telling them where to place their hands, bending the knee a little for a casual pose, or using action poses for a natural look can help them get rid of the awkwardness and help you shoot the perfect portrait.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you know what you want the end picture to look like, you will be able to arrange the various elements in your frame accordingly. Always help your subjects feel good in front of the camera, and “say cheese” is a cliché you must avoid.


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