These are the five things that we will cover in this article. Often than not, when doing portrait photography, one just need an article that will help to kick-start the picture-taking. There’s no need to discuss in depth on the type of lenses and cameras that are going to cost you a fortune. What you need right now is to learn the technique and make sure that you are able to enjoy the activity.
Of course, you still need a camera and the lens
It’s mandatory. At least a good body camera with a good sensor and a reliable zoom lens (prime lens is also great if it fits you). Make sure that you are comfortable with zooming and out and familiar with the settings of your camera.
With exposure setting, you’ll be able to override the brightness and the amount of light your camera is receiving. Although it automatically decides how much light should get in and how ‘bright’ the pictures should look like, it takes into consideration the majority of the frame.
An example is when you want to shoot something against the sun or bright background, subjects in front of it will go dark. With a DSLR camera, you can set the exposure to +1 to increase the brightness of the pictures, or higher as you need it to be.
If your subject is facing straight at you, the narrow aperture is a good choice to get that nice bokeh of the background. But in portrait, always remember that you also take different angles of your subject’s face, which means there’s also a side look and narrow aperture will make the pictures turn out weird.
Use a wide aperture to prevent blurring one side of the face and to get a clear, crisp shot of your client.
Portrait photography means working with your client in close-range. This makes focusing a very important part of the job. Don’t focus on the wrong spot of the face; focus on the forehead, and you’ll blue the nose, focus on the nose, and you’ll blur the eyes.
Pinpoint single AF focus on the eye, half press the shutter and reposition yourself to finish the shot.
No matter how good you are at taking pictures, what really matters the most is the subject you are shooting. Working as a portrait photographer means that you will be meeting people for the first time and you need to them to own the camera. They have to be able to express themselves.
Not all people like being in front of a camera, admit that. Which means that you need to make them at least feel comfortable in front of you. Building rapport is an important part of the job. Break the ice and make the session enjoyable is the trick. Ask general questions and talk about things like friends. Your client won’t be too hesitant in posing and acting in front of you anymore!
5. Flash and reflectors
There are lots of functions you can use flash for. Not just lighting up the dark, fill flash is also a technique that you use when shadows are formed on the face of the subject. This is usually done when the sun is shining too bright and creates silhouettes, or when the weather is not bright enough to light up the client.
Reflectors are another great thing. By reflecting the sunlight back to the face of the client, you’ll get natural light without having to flash annoyingly on the client.