A Guide to Portrait Photography

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This blog post is a guide to portrait photography. It will cover the basics of what you need to know as well as some tips and tricks for capturing amazing portraits. From posing, composition and lighting, this blog post will be your go-to resource when shooting portraits.

What is a Portrait?

A portrait is typically a photograph that captures the likeness of a person. This type of photograph can be used for everything from social media photos to professional headshots. It’s also one of the most common types of photography you’ll find online. Because it’s so popular, there are many different styles and approaches you can use to capture amazing portraits.

The first step in learning how to shoot great portraits is to clearly define what makes up a quality portrait photograph. There are three things that need to be considered when photographing a subject:  – Composition – Posing – Lighting

Composition

When taking any photo, your composition plays an important role in what makes your image successful or not. When shooting portraits, you want to make sure your subject stands out from the background. An easy way to do this is by using the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds involves placing your subject so it aligns with one of the intersecting points on a tic-tac-toe type grid. This causes your viewer’s eye to more naturally follow various lines in the photo and helps lead focus towards your subject. When photographing portraits, try to pose your subjects so they are slightly closer to either top or bottom third line depending on which direction their face is facing, and place them as close as possible while still filling up that entire section (i.e., if their head fills up half of the upper third and their shoulders fill up most of the rest of that space, then it’s probably better to just place them on the bottom third line rather than fitting their entire body into the top third and cutting off their head).

What Gear Do I Need?

You can get amazing portraits using your phone. Seriously. You don’t need a fancy camera or extensive lighting setup to take great photos. There are times when you may want more control over what you’re shooting, in which case you’ll want a DSLR camera with a standard lens (around 50mm is ideal) or an interchangeable lens with an equivalent focal length. If you have a zoom lens, try setting it at around 70-100mm for portraits because compositing multiple shots together offers greater flexibility for editing out things like hairs and blemishes.

What’s The Difference Between Different Lenses?

There is a saying that goes something like this: if God were to hand you a camera, there are only two things you’d need another lens for – portraiture, and sports. Portraits typically require more flattering shots with some softness around your subject, while sports is all about capturing sharp action (hence why sports photographers often use long telephoto lenses). A blurry photo of someone running isn’t doing anyone any favors. Now don’t get me wrong – it all depends on the style of portrait you want to capture. If you’re shooting street portraits or documentary-style photos, then using a wide-angle lens can help provide a sense of atmosphere and give your viewer a greater scope to see the environment around your subject. If you’re shooting everything at eye-level, then it’s easier to hide any imperfections like blemishes and wrinkles on your subject.

What Is The Best Way To Pose My Subject?

There are many different poses that can be used when photographing portraits. Whether you’re in front of the camera or behind it, posing is an art form with a lot of best-practices for creating compelling images. The first step in posing someone is to study their body language and how they interact with others. How do they carry themselves? What makes them comfortable? Once you have an understanding of what makes them tick, try incorporating that into your photo shoot by having them do something that feels natural to them. Putting your subject at ease will result in more natural and comfortable poses, which translates into a better final photo.

Don’t be afraid to show some personality through your photos. It’s easy to get caught up in technical details when shooting portraits (how much space is between my subject’s nose and chin? Is the background blown out enough?), but it’s important not to lose sight of what you’re trying to capture. Take note of their facial expressions, body language, and how well they can work with your lighting setup/prop choices. Any knowledge you have about your subject should come across in your portrait photography. You want viewers looking at your subjects’ photos to feel like they know a little bit about them without having to say a word.

 

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