Long before digital cameras have come to existence, people have been fascinated by portraits mainly because it captures the essence of a person. Portrait photography has the power of capturing one’s image and depicting that person’s character, at the same time imprinting such images for all to remember. However, people do not realize that ever since cameras have been developed and made available to everyone, they have been secretly becoming a threat to the techniques that professional photographers have studied for years. Learn about portrait photography and you’ll see how amazing this hobby can be!
DIY Tips for Amazing Portrait Photography
– by Hudson Valley Photographer Maxwell Alexander
It doesn’t take a genius to take amazing pictures really. All you need is a little practice, some basic portrait photography practices and these helpful tips to take the greatest photos to die for!
1. Capture the Character
Capturing one’s character through a photo shot could be considered most challenging. This is simply because it is extremely difficult to identify one’s character by a mere look at an image shot by a camera, most especially when you do not know them very well or haven’t even met them. Engaging in small conversations and getting to know the subject a little bit before shooting might just do the trick.
Magic happens when there is a clear relationship or camaraderie between the photographer and the subject. That is why when you look into the lens, make sure you are able to connect to the subject, sense the subject’s sincerity and smile, the intensity of the scowl or the emptiness of that distant look. If you’re able to that, then you could say you have successfully captured the character of your subject.
2. Maximize Natural Light
Camera flashes produce red eye, so to avoid this on your photos, try getting the most out of the light that is already available. Position the subject facing against the light so the brightness will illuminate the face. In unavoidable cases wherein there’s no natural light coming in, simply resort to using red eye removal software that could minimize these for you. Most digital cameras today come with a red-eye removal feature.
3. Focus on Me
The focus of a portrait should always be on the subject and not the background. So make sure that you shoot in plain backgrounds or make the necessary adjustments in the focus of the camera to highlight the subject and lay back the background a little bit. Remember that the subject has to always stand out against the background. Otherwise, the essence of the portrait is forfeited.
4. Eyes Open
Except when it is called for, like for a dramatic or theatrical effect, the eyes should always be open. A photographer cannot fully capture the image or the character of the subject without seeing the emotions radiate from within. Blinking even just for a second is a photographer’s no-no! So give your subject the due warning or practice first to pre-condition the eyes to the flashes of light. Here are other hints about portrait photography now.
5. Black is Drama
You think black and white is out? No. It’s still very popular and instantly creates drama and elegance.
6. Instant cover up
You don’t need to have professional makeup artists to do your face before shooting a portrait. Covering or minimizing blemishes are made easy by simple overexposure of the photos. It makes the skin seem luminescent and cures a portrait from its imperfections.
7. Make your subject move
Try to engage your subjects in a conversation or instruct them to move freely then speed shutter. These will give you very interesting photos which look candid and spontaneous. You can also take advantage of these features when shooting portraits of children.
8. Decide to dress up
Imagine this portrait blown and hung up on the walls of your living room. Would you want your family and friends to look at you in shabby clothing? If you’re going for the elegant look, go for dresses, gowns, suits or tube tops for a topless look. Or if you insist on simplicity, that’s fine. Just make sure you avoid something you don’t like to be caught wearing.
Now, you have the list of must-dos and a total picture of portrait photography. All you need to do is practice, so start picking up that camera, start shooting and you’ll see yourself improve everyday. Do not hesitate to play with the lighting techniques and do some experimenting on portrait photography. It is truly a worthwhile leisure of art!