Digital Photography Tips, Tutorials and Resources
Are you interested in improving your portrait photography? As a photographer, you may understand the basic concept of portrait photography, but there are a lot that you can do to capture the best portrait. In this article, we share the 11 most useful portrait photograph tips for beginners.
The goal of portrait photography is to capture the soul of your model, and show their originality in the portrait. Our hope is that these portrait photography tips will help you do just that.
1. Camera Settings
First thing you need to do is to understand your camera settings for portrait photography. A professional DSLR camera has many options including shutter speed, exposure compensation, aperture, ISO, lens, etc.
You should check the exposure and composition to make sure that the object is bright enough. We recommend that you use reflectors for best results.
2. Plan The Pose
Planning the pose is extremely important for portraits. The biggest challenge you will face is camera shyness.
You should choose a pose where your model is comfortable, so they can fully express themselves.
In my experience, kids are easy to work with as they are always full of energy whereas you have to work a bit harder with elder folks.
3. Introduce Props
Often people are afraid of making mistakes while in front of a camera. To combat their nerves, it’s helpful if you can introduce a prop.
A prop can be anything such as a chewing gum, toys, keys etc. It will distract them from the big camera lens between you two, so you can capture their best moments.
4. Change Shooting Angles
The angle you shoot the photo can make a huge difference when it comes to the quality.
You should consider lighting as an important factor when moving around. If you are using natural light, then you should adjust your angles accordingly.
If you are shooting kids, then we recommend you to go down on your knees for the best portrait.
Always try to move around and take each shot from multiple angles to give you plenty to work with when editing.
5. Frame The Portrait
If at all possible, you should try find an angle which can add a frame in your portrait.
Having your subject in the middle of the frame with a good background makes a stunning portrait.
It allows you to put your model as a primary focus while offering tons of scenery around them.
6. Clothing & Environment
If you’re doing a family portrait, then we recommended taking multiple shots in different environments.
The more you plan in advance, the better it is. If you can get your clients to change clothes between shoots to add more variety, then it will help you get better results.
7. Kids Are Artists
If you have ever shot a session with kids, then you know that most kids don’t like staying at the same place.
That’s why we recommend asking the parents to engage with the kids in an activity. While they are distracted in the activity, you will be able to snap some of the best shots of the day.
8. Take Help
As a professional photographer, you must know the ups and downs during the shoot.
Holding the reflectors, moving the lights, and other things have to be checked. You should take someone with you on the shoot for help.
Having a second opinion is also helpful in brainstorming ideas for poses and can make your life a lot easier.
9. Be A Magician
Do you know your model thinks you are a magician who can make every shot a perfect one?
Well, you can be a magician. We recommend you not to talk about the technicalities of photography with your client.
Miracles do happen, but to leave everything on luck is not a good habit. You should edit the photograph before returning them to your customer. Check our list of 9 best photo editing software for photographers.
10. Communicate But, KISS!
KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid, the formula works in all professions. In photography, you must make sure that you keep the communication simple with you model.
Let them ask you questions, and do your best to be polite in your answers. It will help you better understand each other, and you will be able to capture the best portraits.
11. Photo-walks Are Amazing
All experts were once beginners.
Just like you, there are others who are trying to learn and get better at portrait photography.
We recommend you to join photo-walks and local photography meetups to learn from others and help others get better.
We hope this article helped you get started with portrait photography. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us in comments below. Also you may want to check out article on how much does it cost to start a photography business.