One of the reasons why so many people practice portrait photography is that you can quickly learn from the well-practiced techniques of other professionals in the field. While there are no strict rules governing photography, there are some useful tips that can help you improve the overall balance, mood and beauty of your images.
Use special lighting effects to make your photos more vivid and compelling
If you are photographing a wedding outdoors but you are plagued by bad weather, consider opting for black and white photos to give them a more vintage, classical appearance. Most photographers would agree that natural sunlight, particularly early morning and evening light, helps to enhance skin’s complexion, set off bright clothing and add a sparkle to important features like the eyes.
However, you can still create beautiful tonal combinations and strong contrasts between white wedding dresses and dark suits in black and white. Of course, if you prefer, you can always choose to take your photos in colour and then change them into black and white or sepia in Photoshop or Lightroom at a later stage.
Follow the traditional rule of thirds
Try to make sure that your main subjects (such as the bride and groom!) are situated in the top two thirds of your photos. This helps to draw attention to the main subject matter and also creates a more harmonious relationship between the subject and the background. The rule of thirds helps you create a more aesthetically pleasing image by avoiding any centralised subjects that may look unnatural and detract attention from the rest of the photo.
Use a wide variety of focal lengths to capture many different perspectives
If you are photographing one situation but spot the opportunity for an outstanding photograph from somewhere much further away (like at the opposite side of a large reception), having a high zoom lens to hand will help you capture the scene from further away. Indeed, some of the best portrait photographs are the ‘unplanned’ ones – these images are not prepared in advance but are simply a depiction of natural human behaviour. Likewise, having a wide-angle lens will help you photograph larger groups of people and a capture a broader field of view.
Use the power of distraction
Distract your subjects by talking to them or asking questions. This will reduce their self-consciousness and will create more natural, authentic photographs that have more genuine expressions. If something spontaneous happens at an event, such as a sudden burst of sunlight on an English summer’s day, the arrival of a late guest or an expression of laughter from a joke, try to capture them as quickly as possible. As a professional portrait photographer, your job is to help your clients relive all of their memories, thoughts and emotions from their special occasions.
Featured Image: CC Attribution Photo by Andrea Rinaldi - source
Article by Simon Carr
Simon Carr believes that great photography is a rare and wonderful thing. He’s won international awards for his photography work in and around the South East of England, so he sure knows a thing or two about image composition!