Tips for a Beginning Portrait Photographer
Becoming a portrait photographer is an exciting and challenging journey. Your job is to capture the natural beauty of your client. But what is the best way to do that? Here are a few tips that can help you out in order to produce the best photography you can.
- It’s all about communication.
No matter how professional a photographer is, if the client is shy and unsure about the way he looks – you simply won’t be able to get a great shot. Talk to the client, turn their favorite music on, try to do everything to make the person feel relaxed and confident. This will surely make the whole process much easier. And the results won’t be disappointing.
- Consider the environment and lighting.
If you are shooting in a specific interior or studio, make sure you have everything you are going to need. What will the background be? How will you arrange the lighting within the space?
If you are shooting outside, then plan the time of the day and take a look at the weather forecast. Late afternoon and early morning have the best light for outside portrait shooting. Taking pictures during midday can be pretty challenging.
- Camera positioning.
Unfortunately, a lot of portrait shots appear to be flat, if the photographer is inexperienced. Take your time to position the camera in the way that will complement the features of the client. Putting a three-dimensional face into something flat is a complicated task; lenses and lighting also play a huge role in the process.
Make sure to notice the individual features of the clients: a double-chin has to be hidden, a long nose shouldn’t look longer than it is in real life… Whatever is closest to the camera will appear to be the largest in the photo. Don’t rush and play with different angles. And don’t forget to place your focus on the eyes – they have to be sharp.
- Get ready for a workout.
Try to zoom with your feet, rather than with the help of a lens. In this way the portrait will turn out more intimate. Don’t be afraid to get down to the level of the person that you are shooting. Taking pictures of children from an adult height, for example, is a bad idea. Get the camera down to make sure you establish that personal eye-to-eye contact.
- The white balance.
Basically, we want the person to look on the photo just like in real life. And that applies to their skin color as well. The auto white balance mode can become your foe, if it is tricked by the reflected light, shade, bright grass and so on.
For a portrait photographer it is important to invest in such equipment as filters, discs, white balance cards, calibrators and checkers. These things will help you create the perfect white balance manually in any lighting situation.