At some point in your life you have probably sat for a portrait photo, whether it was a school photo or a family photo to mark an important occasion, and you will no doubt have been haunted for years by the photo sitting in pride of place on a bookshelf, on top of the piano or over the mantelpiece. Whilst this type of portrait photography is still big business, particularly for school photos, there have fortunately been a number of innovative moves in the last few years.
Portrait photography has taken a rather different direction and creativity is the key to this new path. There are a number of different techniques that photographers can use to create striking photographs that offer some truly spectacular imagery.
Some of this stunning portraiture can be found on photo sites such as ClickASnap, if you’re looking for inspiration.
Break the rules
If you are looking to create some truly memorable portrait photography then forget all of those more traditional rules associated with portrait photography. Some of the best portraits out there break traditional boundaries and the results are extremely striking. Here are some of our top tips to help you on the quest for the best portrait photography.
Diffuse your light source
When it comes to selecting an environment for your portrait photography consider the environments available to you. A softer diffused, natural light that comes from an indirect source is great for portrait photography. Direct light can be very harsh and in addition to casting unwanted dark shadows can make your subject squint. It can also alter the tone of their skin. A soft box diffuser or even a white sheet is a great way to produce a more flattering effect. Natural lighting at either end of the day is also a great tool to use.
It can be hard sitting and looking at the lens, smiling on cue. In fact, many photographers will tell you just how hard it is to get a great shot this way. Props are a great way of changing a person’s focus so that you can capture that perfect shot.
Consider giving your subject something to hold, that they could look at. Children are more relaxed with a toy so give them something to play with. Just because it’s a portrait doesn’t mean they have to stare at the camera. If the photograph is a gift for a loved one, seeing the subject acting naturally will be much more appealing.
Change your perspective
The traditional portrait pose of facing the camera and smiling at the photographer is not the best way to capture the perfect shot. Consider a more natural pose, perhaps sit your subject slightly side on and have them glancing in a different direction to directly at the camera. For children, ditch the chair and let them sit naturally on the floor, get down to their level. Sit on the floor and shoot upwards or take the photo looking down on the subject. Forget the traditional and experiment. The joy of digital cameras is the ability to look at your shots as soon as you have taken them.
Filters and backgrounds
Digital photography has opened up so many options for photographers, and that means that once you have captured that perfect shot there are plenty of things that you can do with it to make it even better, presets and overlays, there are some great ones that can be used to great advantage to enhance your photos even further.
Shoot in bursts
Rather than posing your subject and clicking once try some of the tips above and then shoot in bursts when your subject is interacting with a prop rather than you this is more likely to capture you that perfect candid shot, it might take 5 photos, 20 or more but you will get it.
By following the tips above, you will find you can achieve something different with portraiture, and your clients may love your unique take on their image.