Most novice photographers try to find the key to making a good portrait. But what exactly does it mean? Is it only about choosing the right perspective and composition? Or having the most expensive equipment? In reality, a great portrait is the one that arrests a viewer’s sight to the subject showing their personality or their whole life captured in one shot. While the technical part of the process matters, the main secret is in having a psychological contact between a photographer and a model. Despite the fact that one can hone these skills there are certain tips and tricks that can help a beginner photographer make a WOW portrait or refresh the style of an experienced one.
1. Change the angle
Indeed, what a change can an altered perspective make! Intuitively, we often take our photos at or around the eye level of the subject trying to catch their emotions. While most of the times this way of shooting is the best one to get the desired effect, in some cases, changing the angle of shooting (from below or above of your subject) can create a wonderful photo.
2. Experiment with eye contact
Indeed, the influence of the direction of your subject’s eyes can be strong and change the perspective of your photo significantly. As a rule, a model looks directly to the lens that gives a viewer the feeling of connection with the subject. This is a very good trick that can help a photographer add depth and emotionality to the photo. However, there are a few more things on this question that you can try to do.
Looking in the other direction. This is a very good trick when your model looks off a camera focusing on a subject that is unseen to the viewer. Thanks to such a shooting style, a photographer can spark more interest in viewers of the photo making them wonder what the model is looking for, thus giving them the reason to turn on their imagination.
Placing the object of the focus inside the frame is an alternative way for creating an interesting photo. In this case, your model will look at someone or something within the frame. For example, a father playing with his child or a couple admiring each other. The options are infinite here. This shooting trick helps create a story within a photo and some kind of relationship between the portrayed subjects.
3. You can break some rules from time to time
When it comes to photography, there are many rules that novices need to learn at the beginning of their practice. Take the rule of thirds, for example, which requires that, in your mind, you divide an image into nine equal parts with two horizontal and vertical lines and then locate your subject or other important objects of your composition along these lines or their intersections. Without a doubt, following this rule, a photographer can create a truly powerful and catching photo. And still, sometimes moving a subject to the edge of the frame, for example, can produce a better effect.
4. Play with lighting
Knowing how to set the right light in photography is a powerful skill. It allows you to dispose the focus and play with shadows creating different moods in the photo. With a good light, and it is not always about the flash only, you can side-light your model, silhouette, or backlight them searching for the desired effect. Indeed, when it comes to lighting, the options for a photographer are almost infinite.
5. Become a paparazzi
While the posed photography is a nice shooting method that helps create great shots, the unexpected shooting method can turn out to be a better solution in certain case scenarios. Some people can get very nervous during posed shooting and as a result look not as good as they’d like to or you’d expect. Here is where becoming a paparazzi and making a couple shots while they are sitting relaxed will help you out. By the way, this method also works perfectly with children.
All in all, practice will always be the main key to success. No need to be afraid of experiments and breaking some rules from time to time while seeking for your best shot. After all, each photo reflects both characters: the photographer’s and the subject’s, thus making each and every photo unique.
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