Portrait photography is a real art. Taking the right photo requires not only good camera and knowledge how to use it but also understanding of many other things like light exposition. That is where the difference between professional and amateur lies. Professional photographer knows how to make small things work together to make an excellent portrait.
Tips on taking excellent portraits
Nobody is born professional. You need a lot of time to reach it. If you are an amateur but you want to learn how to take portraits, the following tips might be useful for you:
- Learn your camera. Having a good camera is not enough. You also need to know how various modes work and how to set the camera. Some photos become terrible only because of the wrong camera settings.
- Frame. Framing is a technique photographer use to put emphasize on the person. The person, basically, is taken in frame with the help of other element in the photo. For instance, the framing effect can be reached by putting a subject into a doorway or in front of a window.
- Background. You should always remember that the main object in the photo is a human. But the background should be selected for each person individually. Experimenting with background shows that the same subject looks different at different backgrounds.
- Angle shots. Horizontal and vertical photos are traditional and in some way even boring. Try taking pictures holding camera on a diagonal angle. This technique can be called framing in some sense too but it makes a photo unconventional and dynamic.
- Focused and unfocused photos. Traditional portrait photos have sharp focus on the subject on the foreground. However, you can try to achieve a blurred effect through unsharp focus.
- Static and moving portraits. Who said that subjects of portraits should be still? They can be static or moving. This effect can be reached by making the subject move or moving your camera, its lens.
- Funny portraits. Portraits should not be serious, still and classic. They can be different. Do not be afraid to experiment with backgrounds, expressions, exposition, etc. Expression of faces also plays an important role. People want to see real emotions and expressions.
- Unconventional subjects. Find an interesting subject for your portrait. Unconventional subjects will stand out from the background and make the portrait even more interesting and extraordinary.
- Light. Light is immensely important for a good image. Consider time of the day when shooting outside. If necessary, increase ISO to get sharp subjects, especially in the evening when it is dark.
Becoming a professional needs time and practice. Experiment with camera settings, subjects, background but do something to improve your skills and master new ones. Being a photographer is a great and creative job worth learning.