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Tips for taking portrait

What makes a great portrait? Like all images, a great portrait isn’t all about making somebody look beautiful; it has to tell the viewer a story. People aren’t perfect, and a portrait should be more about telling the story of the person being photographed.

Here are 5 quick tips on getting the best portrait shots

1. Patience

  • Sometimes we try too hard to make something happen, and instead let the shot come to us. Wait for a few moments and see what happens. Something will change, a pose, an expression, and you might be more pleased with the results.

2. Compositions

  • It is common to want to include all, or at least the top half, of their subject. However, you may miss out the shallow depth of field which could make the photo “pop”. Try positioning your subject to one side of the frame, with ‘space to look into’.

3. Building Rapport with your Model

  • If your model doesn’t connect with you, he/she will not feel comfortable, and what you shoot aren’t going to look good. Take time to chat with your model before the shoot – have a donut; sugar make people happy.

4. Posing

  • This can be a entire topic of interest by itself as there are just so many small details to be aware of. Nevertheless, just remember that you are trying to tell a story with the shot; try to capture the model’s favoured side, shifting one’s weight to the back for a slimmer effect, define the jawline by shooting slightly above the subject, looking down etc. Try capturing a range of expressions so you can pick which you prefer when editing them back home on the computer.

5. Lighting and Shadows

  • There are almost endless possibilities when it comes to using light in portraits. And with light, there will be shadows. Good shadows add to the scene or photo as a whole without detracting from the intended subject. Depending on your camera setup (if you are using external light source or not) and location (and time) of your shoot, dramatic effects can be created by simply positioning the light source. 

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