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As you can see from my portfolio, there is a special place in my heart for portrait photography. I love to capture the emotion on a person’s face and find that perfect image that encapsulates their personality. But as you can imagine, this can be very difficult and takes a lot of skill and patience.
Use the tips below to improve your portrait photography:
1. Imagine the ideal backgrounds for your images
It is important to imagine in advance what the backgrounds of your photos will be, you will save time during the service and you will be able to think of other aspects crucial to the success of the work. You will also need to be able to improvise and adapt to different and unexpected lighting conditions.
2. Know your settings
It’s difficult enough to capture the perfect moment from your subject, and you don’t want to miss it or ruin a shot because you didn’t have your white balance set correctly or one of the three values that control the exposure. Take time beforehand and also at the beginning of the shoot to make sure you have the optimal settings, always checking the light.
3. Check your framing
There is nothing worse than finally capturing the perfect smile or emotion from your subject, to realize there is a tree behind them that looks like horns coming out of their head! Make sure there is nothing in the background of your shot that will distract from the subject.
4. Get moving
Don’t rely on your camera to do all the work, avoid only adjusting your tripod or zooming in and out. Hold the camera in your hands, move closer and further away from your subject and get down to their eye level in order to find the best position for the shot.
5. Light up the subject
Whether it is natural or artificial light, it is essential to know the different types of lighting available and how to use them in your favor.
6. Don’t take the result for granted
Quickly checking the result on the camera screen is important to avoid finding yourself with blurred or moving photos, once you move to another location you will probably not have the opportunity to repeat and it will be too late to fix your errors.
7. Put your subject at ease
One of the hardest things to get right during portrait shots is to make your subject feel comfortable, this isn’t out of your control. Use the tips in my previous blog post to help you connect with your subject and allow them to relax into the shoot.
Over time you will develop your own personal strategy for portrait photography, but these tips should provide a good starting point for your first few shots!