A Complete guide to Portrait Photography

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In portrait our main subject of interest is people and that is why defines its as photography people is called portrait photography either head shot or dozen of family members in single shoot.

Some useful tips for portrait photography:

     Posing & composition

Portraits are all about the person or people you are photographing.

Composition, thus, will involve working with them on poses. They need to highlight what you are trying to achieve in your portrait Posing your subject can be one of the tougher aspects of portraiture. It requires a separate competency from the rest of your photographer skill set.

Moreover, posing men and women are quite different undertakings. You will need to know what kinds of poses are attractive and impactful for both.

Establishing a good rapport with your subject is invaluable here. Without strong communication, you won’t be able to get the best from your model. Ultimately, achieving fluency at posing requires as much practice and observation as mastering your camera.

When shooting models, it’s your responsibility to give them the guidance they need. After all, it is your aim to help them look their best in front of the camera.

This applies regardless of whether you’re shooting professional models or family members.

       Framing the subject

Framing are the photographic element that can be use to lead the viewers eyes into  the frame focusing them on a particular point. Frames provide a sense of depth and a path for the eyes to explore.

Whatever you are photographing frame play most important role. In portrait photography  framing  gives an image depth and draws the eye to a point of interest in the image.

 

      Lighting

Lighting is the vital source in every photography. In portrait photography many, beginner use natural light to get works done. The golden hour, when the sun low at the sky which provide such a warm, soft light for portrait with stunning lights.it is a very easy source of lighting available by placing the subject in front or back lighting.

Exposure compensation

Exposure compensation is indicated my the metering system of the camera. That show how much light entered the camera sensor to create exposure.

When shooting portraits, light skin tones can easily trick the camera into underexposing the shot. You’ll notice this more when shooting full-face photos or when there’s lots of white in the scene – brides at weddings are a prime example.

This can be quickly corrected though with your camera’s Exposure Compensation controls. To begin with, try dialing in up to +1 stop of positive Exposure Compensation to lighten up people’s faces. Review your shots, and if you feel you they need to be lightened further, increase this further.

 

          Aperture

Whenever shooting portrait, it is better to shoot it with wide aperture (f/.8, f/3) to capture it with shallow depth of field so that the background behind the subject get blurred, and make the subject pop out of the photograph.

 

           Shutter speed

In portrait photography, make sure you get higher shutter speed.While it won’t help if your subject is moving around quickly, don’t forget to use your camera’s anti-shake system. While some camera systems have this built-in around the sensor, of camera systems prefer to have the system in the lens – the benefit being that you can see the effect in the viewfinder.

People move around a lot as they’re photographed, not to mention blink and constantly change their facial expressions – and there’s nothing worse than a photo of somebody half-blinking or gurning instead of smiling!

To avoid these problems, and to prevent motion blur appearing, you’ll need to use a fast shutter speed.

This will also help to ensure sharp shots and avoid camera-shake because more often than not you’ll be shooting portraits handheld.

While in Aperture Priority mode and maintaining a wide aperture, to increase your shutter speed simply increase your ISO (from ISO100 to ISO400, say).

       ISO

In low light (indoors and outside), you may need to increase it to ISO1,600, 3,200 or even 6,400. A little grain is infinitely better than a blurry, useless photo

 

      Shoot in RAW

Most cameras have the ability to record photos as JPEG or RAW files. JPEGs are nice and small but RAW files capture more data, giving you a lot more options for making tweaks in post-processing. Shooting in RAW will give you a lot more flexibility for adjusting things like highlights, shadows, and white balance. For example, a RAW file will allow you to dramatically increase the exposure of an underexposed photo so that you still have a use able image.


 

   Take un focus shoots

As photographers we have ‘sharp focus’ drummed into us as an ultimate objective to achieve in our work – but sometimes lack of focus can create shots with real emotion, mood and interest.

There are two main strategies for taking unfocused images that work:

1. Focus upon one element of the image and leave your main subject blurred. To do this use a large aperture which will create a narrow depth of field and focus upon something in front of or behind your subject.

2. Leave the full image out of focus. To do this again choose a wide aperture but focus well in front or behind anything that is in your image.

     Get facial expressions

Few things kill the mood of a portrait quite like stiff, fake facial expressions. Connecting with your subject on a personal level will help them feel more at ease in front of the camera. Don’t just stick them in front of the camera and start shooting. Get to know them ahead of time and chat with them while you shoot. Also be aware of things like how you want them to smile. Are you wanting a big, cheesy grin or something more subtle? Connect with them and then direct them to the feeling you want.

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