10 Tips for Stunning Portrait Shots
Portrait shots can be stunning if you take them correctly. Investing in a good digital camera is only the first step. You won’t be able to take good portrait shots if you don’t learn how to use the camera first!
You also need to know what makes a good portrait. If you’re an amateur photographer, don’t worry – with a bit of practice and research, you can learn how to take stunning portrait shots.
Here are ten tips to get you started:
1. Have Your Subject Look Around In Different Directions
Sometimes portrait shots look best when the subject is not looking directly at the camera. The direction of the subject’s eyes can really influence a photo. If you have them looking away from the camera, the photo will seem more candid and natural.
2. Experiment With The Lighting
The possibilities are limitless when it comes to light. Back lighting can create a silhouette effect. Side lighting can affect the mood. When you hide some of the subject’s features, the image can seem more powerful.
3. Convince Your Subject To Move Out Of His Or Her Comfort Zone
Everybody has their limits when it comes to getting their picture taken. When you shoot somebody, encourage them to pose in a way that they normally wouldn’t do. You can also have them do funny things, like jump around or dance. The resulting photos will look very fun and entertaining.
4. Focus On One Particular Body Part
You’ll need a lens with a long focal length so that you can photograph just one part of your subject. You can focus on their eyes, mouth, neck or the entire upper body.
5. Leave Some To The Imagination
You don’t have to include everything in a picture. Sometimes, simple is better. What’s left out of a photo is just as important as what’s left in.
6. Introduce The Right Kinds Of Props
A prop makes the picture more interesting. However, since the main focus in portrait shots is the individual, you don’t want the props to be too noticeable. It’s supposed to enhance the shot, not take over it.
7. Talk With Your Subject
Communication is an important factor when it comes to taking portrait shots. Don’t get so preoccupied with the technical details of the photo shoot that you forget about your subject. They aren’t inanimate objects, after all. If you don’t get them involved, they will look bored in the photos.
8. Sometimes A Simple Background Is All You Really Need
A bad background can ruin a picture. You don’t want tree branches growing out of the subject’s head. Nor do you want clashing colours. If the background is too noticeable, viewers will notice it rather than the subject. At the same time, the background shouldn’t be boring. It should be simple, yet interesting.
9. Shoot Candidly
Your subject doesn’t have to be posing. Tell funny jokes to get them to laugh. Just let them do whatever they want and snap pictures. This will make the pictures seem more real.
10. Take A Bunch Of Shots
Put your camera on “continuous shooting” mode and keep on taking shots. You’ll create a series of images that can be presented together. This technique works well when you’re photographing an active subject. Canon cameras are great for continuous shooting.
If you follow these tips, you should see a big improvement in your portrait photography skills.