Beautiful portrait photography is both an skill and art. When done right it can produce stunning imagery. So if you want to stop asking how, and start taking better images today… here are know my top 5 tips for to take beautiful portraits every time.
COMPOSITION IS THE POSITION
First thing to put your mind to when shooting portraits is the Frame of the image…what do you want to capture? What else, besides your subject are you looking to show?! Where will your subject fit within the frame and what are you going to focus on. Is it a full length shot or a close up? Search your surroundings for the ideal background then place your subject into the scene and start snapping.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Lighting is one of the most important factors in creating beautiful portraits. And it is something that you should give a lot of thought to when taking your photo. Search your surroundings and analyse the lighting. From there you can decide on the most flattering light available and utilize it…or get creative and use light in a way to bring drama or a creative twist to your frame. Seek out the light if you are indoors and bring your models into it. (e.g. using window light) If you are outdoors you need to work with the light depending on your surrounds and time of day.
FOCUS ON ME
Portrait photography is all about the person within the frame. So you want to make them the focus or ‘centre of attention’. To get the best out of your portrait shots you also want to make the subject as comfortable as possible. Be confident and this will make them feel at ease. Have a conversation and even get them laughing. This will help you create a really genuine and natural shot.
GIMME THOSE EYES BABY
It’s all in the eyes as they say, and with portraits this rings true. Decide weather you want your model looking directly into the camera or away and what kind of mood you want to invoke. Focusing on your models eyes and making sure they are sharp in camera is also extremely important. Even if you are shooting at a shallow depth of field and have other parts of the image out of focus, as long as the eyes are sharp, the viewer will be drawn in.
IT’S ALL IN THE EDIT
Editing and colour toning your final images ads as much to the image as everything I mentioned above. Even just a subtle colour grade on an image can take it from basic to professional. So if you are wanting to take stunning portraits, the power of editing should not be dismissed. You can achieve amazing results editing with professional programs like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. There are also a number of amazing editing apps available right on your phone which give you amazing editing tools at your fingertips.
Example image edited with Professional software Adobe Lightroom with my pro presets CREATIVE COLOUR PRESETS
Example image edited with the app COLOURTONE on iPhone