People perceive themselves in different ways. Oftentimes, the way they see themselves is the opposite of how we see them. Photographers have the precious opportunity to see beauty in everything. The way we photograph someone may increase their self-confidence, show them something they once took for granted, or simply make their day.
Like any photography genre, portraiture demands focus, practice, and a willingness to learn. The tips below will help you become a portrait photographer who makes their subjects comfortable and takes breathtaking photos of them.
Have a Meeting Before the Shoot Even a short meeting can have a tremendous impact on the success of a portrait session. Getting to know your client will help you understand their ideas and passions, which will compel you to successfully capture their personality during your shoot. In turn, allowing them to understand your love for photography will make them feel more comfortable in your presence.
By Brooke Cagl
Give Honest Feedback Constructive criticism and encouragement are equally important. If you don't like a pose, show your subject a better one. Make sure to point out things you like, be it an expression, an angle, or a location. Encouragement will keep your model motivated, while honest feedback will increase their trust in you.
Don't Be Serious You don't have to force anything, no matter who you're working with. Be yourself. Once your subject notices your confidence, they'll feel at home. Tell jokes, share stories, and treat your client like a friend. Your attitude will determine whether your subject feels like themselves in your presence or not. The more comfortable they are, the better your portraits will be.
By Brooke Cagl
Look out for Spontaneous Moments Authentic moments, when captured, become precious memories. Photograph your client when their back is turned, when they move to another location, when they look away from your camera, and so on. Not every outtake will look great, but you'll certainly acquire a few brilliant gems.
By Beth Solano
Play with Props Make the most of materials, outfits, and natural surroundings. Use these things to experiment with light and shadows. Your results will not only look interesting, but give both you and your client a chance to enjoy pure creativity. There is no limit when it comes to details, so be fearless when it comes to experiments such as this.
By Ariel Lustre
Portrait photography doesn't have to be an intimidating genre. If you have passion, persistence, and a camera, you can take incredible photos of other people. Remember to be yourself, communicate openly, and find beauty in everything.
By Ian Froome