Portrait Photography Techniques | How to Make Excellent Portrait Photos
Portrait Photography Techniques | People are by far the most widely photographed subjects. However, people photography requires special treatment in terms of composition, lighting, depth of field and most importantly a “natural look”. It is a misconception that shooting portraits needs extensive studio equipment. Contrary to the popular belief, people can be photographed successfully using natural light. You don’t need to be an extraordinary photographer to be able to take a great portrait photo that captures the features, character or nature of your subject.
With smart use of your equipment, careful framing and due attention paid to lighting, almost anybody can take good portraits. This blog will take you through some of the essentials to get you started in portrait photography. There’s no specific thing that will make your portrait shots excellent, but paying attention to the tips below, and practicing, will get you started on your way to taking stunning portrait photographs.
Alter Your Perspective | Portrait Photography Techniques
You have the ability to make your pictures much more interesting by learning a new technique. You can do this by simply shooting from a different or unusual angle. Doing so is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to make your pictures more intriguing. Most portrait photographs are taken with the camera at (or around) the eye level of the subject. While this is good common sense – completely changing the angle that you shoot from can give your portrait photos a real WOW factor. Perspective is the way our eye relates to space separation and the relationship between the sizes of objects within that separation. What this means is, things seem smaller the further away they are, relative to their size. One of the most obvious things you can do to alter perspective is to change the height of the camera with respect to the subject.
Eye Contact | Portrait Photography Techniques
Eyes contribute hugely towards the subject’s behavior in the frame. When we analyze those great portrait works of Davinci, Vermeer or Steve Mccurry, one thing which reveals is the way they have handled those eyes. Most portrait photos have the subject looking down the lens – something that can create a real sense of connection between a subject and those viewing the image. But there are some additional things to try. Unlike direct eye contact, having two different subjects looking at each other is a method to depict the relationship between them. The viewer is becoming an observer, and is no longer ‘involved’ in the photograph. This is commonly done to represent a loving relationship (wedding shoot), but it could equally be chosen to represent hate, anger, or fear.
Rules of Composition | Portrait Photography Techniques
The first thing you’re going to learn about in any beginner’s photography class is the rule of thirds, and it’s a pretty simple idea. You simply split up your frame into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. These lines will create nine boxes and intersect in four places. Also, rather than eliminate the environment completely, use it! Windows, doorways, arches and gazebos are all creative solutions that allow for maximum subject focus and heightened visual interest. It’s also nice to have people actively doing something (the horizontal format allows extra space for the surroundings), or caught apparently off-guard and wearing a natural expression.
At the end, the only way to improve your portrait photography skills is through continuous practice. Ask your friends or family to pose for you for half an hour and just keep shooting. Take photos of kids – yours, your nieces and nephews, or your friend’s children.