Portrait photography is something we all want to get right! A good portrait captures a person as they were in one moment in time, and can convey so much expression and emotion. With a few things to keep in mind, this can be such a rewarding type of photography. Read on for some of our favourite techniques to get the best results out of portrait photos!
Encouraging a relaxed atmosphere
Making your model feel at ease is an essential part of getting good portrait results. Many of us unconsciously freeze up as soon as we look down the camera lens! Strike up a conversation, and break the ice before the shoot begins to keep things relaxed. If your model isn’t sure what to do with their hands, props to hold such as flowers really help to create more natural poses.
Understanding how to light your model
Good lighting is always important in photography, but this goes double for portrait photos! Strong, direct light is too harsh to be flattering, so opt for soft and diffused light either from the golden hours when outside, or by setting up diffuse lighting sources indoors. Always make sure your subject is positioned well in relation to the light source to avoid unwanted shadows on the face. A reflector is a great tool to use to bounce ambient light back into shot for better results.
Identifying your focal points
Thinking about what you want to achieve with your portrait photography is an important step to getting good results. This includes knowing what you want to feature as your focal point. For most portraits, the eyes are a natural area to focus your camera on to capture their natural beauty and expressiveness. Try other focal points such as the lips for more experimental results. Be careful of your camera auto focusing on something that you didn’t intend!
Creating a good colour palette
Having an engaging colour palette present in your photography adds instant appeal as well as setting the mood! Plan your colour story by making sure the background of your shot complements your model’s skin tone, hair and clothing. This can be anything from using a dominant colour in your image, using complementary or analogous colours, or drawing focus with a fairly neutral image with one strong colour detail.
The same principles apply to black and white images- choose a background that will create a good range of tonal values when paired with your model.
Being aware of angles and perspective
How your camera is positioned can make a huge difference to the outcome of your photos! Take some time to figure out your model’s best angles and avoid low angles unless going for a specific look, as this tends not to be flattering. Perspective is also an overlooked area. Be sure that your camera is not distorting facial features (If your lens is not wide enough, it can bring features such as the nose and chin forward and make the rest of the face recede!) and take a few test shots to make sure everything is looking right.
Once you’ve got your perfect portrait shot, give it a first class framing treatment! Go to our website to upload your photo and complement it perfectly with our range of handmade frames and mounts!