You can take amazing portrait shots even if you have little to no experience in the field of portrait photography – all you need to do is to pay attention to the following hints and tips that will certainly come in handy, especially if you are a beginner photographer!
One of the biggest mistakes beginners tend to do when taking portraits is that they stick to a single perspective/point of view. Feel free to move the camera around the eye level of your subject, and you will be amazed to see what a huge difference it makes to simply change the camera angle!
2. Stimulate Your Subject To Play With The Camera
Eye contact plays a pivotal role when it comes to portrait shots – looking directly into the camera can add extra style to the photo, as the eyes are the mirror of the soul and every person tells a story. However, if the subject looks off the camera, this can create a feeling of candidness – if this effect is desired, then the subject is strongly advised to look away. On the other hand, looking within the frame is another great idea for a amazing portrait shot – after all, remember that one image is worth a thousand words!
3. Do Not Stick To The Rules
Rules are made to be broken, right? The universal rule in photography is that you can break the rules, as long as the final result is an outstanding one. The rules of composition are widely promoted in the photography world (especially the rule of thirds), but don’t be afraid to break the rules if you feel that the final result will be worth the effort!
4. Make Your Subject Feel Comfortable
It often happens that subjects feel very uncomfortable in front of the camera, they may feel embarrassed or they may look too stiff for the portrait to be natural – if that is the case with your subject, all you have to do is to push him out of the comfort zone! You can do this by taking some shots in the places where your subject feels the most comfortable.
5. Play With The Lights!
Don’t be afraid to play with the lighting system, as you might actually create outstanding portraits – a touch of backlighting or side-lighting can work like magic!
6. Make Sure The Portraits Are Natural
Your subject mustn’t look as if he’s posing – the purpose of a portrait shot is to reproduce the reality, to look natural and beautiful. You can even take your subject by surprise if you feel that he is too tensed or too concentrated on the camera.
A close up is a great idea for a portrait shot – throughout the decades, some of the world’s most renowned artists have had close ups of certain body parts, from the hands and eyes to the mouth or even the lower body.
8. Add A prop
Sometimes, switching the attention from the central subject to an additional subject can have amazing results – this is why introducing a prop of any kind can come in handy, especially if you are short on ideas! You can easily take a picture that says a story.
9. Play With The Zooming
You can zoom on a certain area of your subject, such as the face or the body of your subject if you want to point out something – no matter if it’s a body part or a piece of clothing!
10. Never Rely On Solely One Shot!
Last, but not least, it is essential never to stick to just one shot – take tens of them, so you have where to choose from! Besides, taking a series of shots can also tell a story, this technique is far more appealing than just taking a single static image. Feel free to play with the camera and to use your imagination!
Article by John
John is a passionate blogger and photographer specializing in portrait photography.