Portrait Photography is a tricky art and photographers usually tread on thin waters while capturing the perfect emotion at the right time. These portrait photography tips will simplify the variables involved for you and make your life easier, apparently at least!

Find your light

portrait photography, focus on light

The most significant element to ace portrait photography is the perfect lighting and how to deal with it. Shadows are both; a blessing and a curse. If at one hand they give a specific edge to your picture and give it the touch of blended reality, then it also hides the most prominent features of your model or object of interest by lengthening in and taking over your canvas. To deal with them is simple. All you have to do is change angles and eliminate as many shadows by blocking the light such as the model raising her head to remove the shadows of nose, lashes and so on. For shadows that don’t seem to leave you alone an inexpensive portable reflector can either use the shadows to give color to your model or to eliminate altogether.

Use external lighting

Follow up tip. In other cases, external sources of light or flash can also be used. Although this method is tricky due to mismatch coloration and light intensity, once you get the hang of it you can work wonders.

Pick interesting backgrounds

portrait photography- pick interesting backgrounds
(Source: http://www.sonjakphotography.com/blog/rocky-mountain-national-park-colorado-engagement-sonja-k-photography-sprague-lake)

As important as it is to focus on your object in portrait photography, the backgrounds are equally important as they give a different perspective and story to every picture. While capturing portraits in front of specific backgrounds, you need to be careful as to make the object stand out and to not put the surroundings into the limelight. This does not mean that the background should be boring, it should be compatible with your object of photography and the placement of the object or model should be such that no shadows should fall on her especially around mountainous areas.

Focus on them eyes

portrait photography- focus on eyes

The significance of a portrait photograph is for the model to be captivating and the single feature that grabs the attention of the photographer and the viewer is her eyes and that is where you must focus. The eyes should be the sharpest in a portrait and they should overpower all the other features, shadows, background etc. if you are not capturing the models face from the front then you must make sure that you focus on the pair of eyes closest to your lens or if there is distance between the lens of the camera and the model then, the face should be of your utmost priority such as done and taught here.

Make your subject comfortable

portrait photography- make your subject comfortable

Knowing how to use the camera is one thing and portrait photographers tend to focus on that part rather than the comfort zone of their model. The comfortability of your model is a huge contributor to how the picture turns out. You need to keep them natural and do their own thing, make them laugh, do activities with them and in doing so capture them keeping all the tips in mind. Doing so, you will not just create a perfect picture but also add the touch of realism to it. Your backgrounds should also be understanding and not too harsh. You do not want bees flying around your models face and expecting her to pose, your background should be friendly to your subject including the perfect weather to keep the photographer happy as well.

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About The Author

Sana Ahmad

A Bachelors in Economics and Finance who is now pursuing an MBA in Marketing. A free spirit that was chained in a cycle of corporate jobs for 2 years. She has now embraced freedom with a vision in mind. Her mission is to revamp the photography arena of Pakistan and the creation of Photographire is just the beginning of that journey!

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