7 Tips Your Camera Manual Never Told You About Portrait Photography

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Many people will avoid picking up a camera because they think they don’t have an eye for photography. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take talent to capture a solid portrait. It takes skill and the motivation necessary to master those skills. Portrait photography can be dealt with as an equation; with just a set of rules and guidelines, it’s possible to take jaw dropping, natural light portraits tomorrow. Here are seven steps to master portraits using natural light only.

Picking up a camera for the first time and pointing it at a subject can be quite overwhelming. Further, shooting for years and never finding satisfaction with the portraits captured can be frustrating. If the majority of the following steps are mastered, the results are guaranteed to turn people’s heads. The ambition necessary to master these rules will allow for a photographer to go above and beyond the person who is “born with the eye.”

1. EXPRESSION

People tend to forget that a portrait without a REAL expression does not connect to the viewer. Humankind wants to see genuine emotion and not a posed, cheesy smile. This is more important than location, light and expensive gear. Clients will more often than not choose the blurry images with bad compositions if it means those images are honest portrayals of themselves.

The first thing people look at is the connection the subject has with the camera. The only way to achieve that is to make the subject comfortable. A Vital Detail Often Ignored is an in depth guide on how to make a subject feel natural in front of the camera.

2. COMPOSITION

The purpose of properly composing images is to attract the viewer’s eye straight to the most important detail of the portrait—the subject’s face and more specifically, the eyes. This is where two important rules kick in: rule of thirds and depth.

It is scientifically proven that the eye is most attracted to four different points of an image. Sticking with these four points will help frame the subject in the most pleasing manner. Further, when taking photographs, it goes without say that the images produced will be 2-dimensional. To make it look 3-dimensional and to make the subject pop out of the frame, there must be depth in the composition.  An image’s foreground, middle ground and background are essential in achieving the necessary depth.

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