So you have a passion for taking and want to dive into the world of portrait photography. Or maybe, you’ve already taken the leap, but still feel your photos aren’t all they could be. With photography, there is always more to learn and room to grow. Contrary to what most of those on the other side of the camera may see or think, a lot more goes into the art form than just pointing and shooting. Professional photography can take you and your business to the next level!
For portraits, a good rule of thumb is not to shoot with anything wider than 50mm. 50 mm lenses are considered “normal” in that they are most accurate to what the naked eye sees. (Bare in mind that 50mm aren’t always 50mm depending on your camera’s sensor and that’s something worth taking the time to understand, maybe for a future blog post). A great thing about 50mm lenses is that they are typically fast, meaning that they offer wide apertures to let in lots of light. This in turn makes low-light photography and that nice shallow depth of field much easier.
Continuing first with the mention of shallow depth of field, that’s basically that beautiful look of a clear, crisp subject with a soft, blurred background or foreground. This is something that most photographers reading this blog have probably played with but it worth mentioning again. The auto focus feature on lenses tends to focus on the closest part of the face (the nose) which can leave the eyes out of focus. It’s worth the time to get practiced in using manual focus, but when in doubt use a slightly slower aperture.
Whether you’re shooting color images or intend to convert to all black and white, it’s good to gain an awareness for what’s happening with color while you’re shooting. It’s less of an issue with color photos, but when converting to black and white, your subject can tend to get lost in the grey somewhere. To take your portrait photos from good to great, it’s important that there be a clear distinction between the subject and the background. This can be done with various lighting techniques, but it’s also great to strengthen your awareness of color and avoid certain angles accordingly.
Keep Things Interesting
It’s also important to keep your images fresh. While standard head on portraits can turn out really nice, they can also teeter on the line of boring and uninteresting and likely wont satisfy every client. Don’t be afraid to try new angles, locations, props, etc. The best way to find what works and doesn’t in this regard is to simply try new things and keep shooting. You’ll get to a point where you have a lot of ideas in your back pocket that will make your shoots more fun and productive and impress your clients.
I’ve only touched on a few of many helpful hints to step up your portrait game giving you a great place to start. In my opinion, the best tip in the world of photography is to just keep shooting. There is so much to be learned that can’t always be taught as well as it can be simply experienced, so just keep snapping away!
Are you looking to have pictures taken, but don’t have time to take them yourself? Call us today for a FREE consultation. We would love to help you develop your business with next level photography!