Have you ever wondered why your friends can be so talented on shooting portrait? What is the difference? To answer these questions, you can attend a photography lesson but if you can wait to know the answers, here are few essential tips you can take reference with.
1. Time and Effort
I know that you dare to know the answer and want to take amazing portraits immediately after you have read this article. But there is no shortcut at all. All experienced photographer has experienced a time when they frequently take reference with the works of others. They learn from the portraits taken by others and ask themselves how they can improve the works; they take experiment on the composition, shooting angle and so on; they also try to bring out messages via the portrait. As a beginner, you can do more online researches and focus more how experienced photographer takes a portrait.
2. Lens Choice
Len choice is one of the most important aspects on your portrait. As we transform a 3D face into a 2D image, the decision on lens and the position of camera has a great impact on the result. For instance, a wide-angle lens is suitable for creating visual impact and making the models taller than what they are when shooting from a low angle. It is especially the true as facial features are various so that photographers require special attention and technique
3. Environment and Lighting
Shooting in an interior setting can be totally different from shooting outside. For former, you may need to prepare different background settings and various combination of lighting setup (natural light portrait and artificial light portrait). For shooting outside, you have to consider the position of sun and direction of sunlight. From my experience, shadow is the most difficult question. Using fill flash seems to be weird but in fact can help capture more balanced exposure.
As you are shooting people who will change their facial expression such as blinking and smiling, the motion might ruin your shooting. Therefore we need a fast shutter speed to have sharp shots. To do so, you can increase the shutter speed higher than the effective focal length. You can also increase ISO to, for example, ISO1,600 and ISO 3200.
Models can be said the most essential part for your portrait. However, many photographers look down the relationship between them and the models. If models do not feel good about the shooting, it is difficult to take a high quality portrait. To avoid this situation, photographers should give models hints about the pose and facial expression. Try your best to give them confidence.
Eyes are the “window of soul” so emphasizing on the eyes of model is important. By using Flexible Spot AF points, you can place the focusing point on the subject’s eye. The eye would become sharp and the entire image will rise to another level. It also makes the portrait more attractive.
To take a good portrait, you should be hard working on trying composition; standing back and forth, zooming in and out, repositioning the subject, readjusting the depth of field, and so on. All these are great practices for a perfect composition.