About Portrait Photography

It is always interesting to take pictures of people as compared to inanimate objects or even animals. This is because different people project different emotions and it is always interesting to capture them on film. By doing so- a part of the individuals character is frozen onto film forever. Portrait photography is not as easy as it looks. One must be experienced in the field before experimenting with portraits as it requires a certain kind of creativity and patience.

Most portrait photographers prefer to keep the subject at the center of the background. The color of the background is kept neutral or dull so that entire focus is on the subject. Since portrait photography is all about focusing on the face of the subject, it is important that you choose a background with soft but solid colors. If you choose a background of a busy street- the purpose of your photograph will be lost.

In case you want the subject to get additional attention, it is recommended that you blur the background for best results. The details should be blurred so that the subject is given due attention. For this purpose, you need to change the settings of the camera to achieve the same. One can do so by shooting the photograph from a short distance with the help of a zoom lens.

While portrait photographers focus on the face of the subject, it becomes difficult for beginners to ascertain which feature of the face to emphasize on. The answer here is- the eyes. As they say- the eyes are the windows to the soul. Therefore, you will be able to capture exact emotions and feelings by doing so. Your photograph will definitely be a work of art if you perfect this area of portrait photography. It has been said that if you catch the subject off guard, you will be able to get the true emotions which are lost when one is told to pose in a certain manner. However, a number of portrait photographers advise their subjects to keep their faces straight so that their eyes are pointing straight into the lens of the camera while others tell their subject to turn their heads and focus on an object in the distance.

With portrait photography, natural light is always the safest bet. It helps to enhance the quality of the photograph by arresting the exact color and warmth of the subject’s skin. Portrait photographs should always be shot outdoors while the sun is blazing bright. However, make sure that the subject is standing in such a way that the light of the sun does not fall directly on his/her face. Instead- it should fall on its side.

In order to avoid silhouettes, make sure that the subject is standing in front of the sun. However, make sure that the individual or object is not placed directly in front of the sun as this can distort the color and quality of the photograph. One can use the fill-in flash to create necessary shadows.

In conclusion, it should be remembered that since this field of photography is slightly trickier, one should keep practicing and taking test shots. Carry out experiments so that you can create your own unique style. Also make sure that you get enough information from the internet and books so that you are aware of each and every aspect related to the field.

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Portrait Photography Success

Creating photography portraits can be a rewarding experience. It is however it is a skill like so many others in which practice makes – if not perfection, at least close to perfection. Learning from the experience of others is another key to the path to portrait perfection. This article offers several suggestions that photographers can follow to perfect their craft.

1. Before the shoot, give the clients a checklist they can follow to prepare for the shoot. Included items would be what kind of clothing and makeup to wear and what to do with glasses during the shoot.

2. Encourage your subjects to have good posture. This can be done by placing lightly touching your client’s lower back with two fingers with one hand while you touch them on the front of the shoulders with the other hand. Doing this while you say “good posture please” will almost always improve your client’s posture.

3. Be aware of the size of your subject’s heads and hands. These are usually the parts of the body which draw the most attention. If the hands are too close to the face with the full palm or back of the hand showing, it can overpower the face.

4. Often, when a photographer is photographing infants, the mother will want her portrait taken with the infant. Remember this mother just gave birth. Her mid section may not be the most flattering. Try and get more of the mother’s face in these shots.

5. When photographing newborns, allow more time than what is required to photograph an adult. Newborns eat, sleep and play when they want. They do not follow instructions well. As a result a photographer needs to have more patience (and time) than he does when photographing adults.

6. When photographing couples kissing ask them not to pucker up. While puckering up may look perfectly natural when seen in real time, it looks unnatural when frozen in time.

7. Ask your clients to bring props which will help personalize the shot. While it may be fun for the photographer to direct the shot as he sees fit, it is the client who is paying the bills. Make sure his/her personality is manifested in the results.

Portrait photography can be a rewarding. It can also be challenging. Following above suggestions will help ensure that there are more rewards than challenges.

Vanessa and Stephen shoot portrait, senior, engagement, pet, wedding, and family photography session. They shoot most often in the OC, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, and Riverside County.

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