Pointers for the Perfect Portrait Photograph

portrait photography

Portrait Photography:

Many photographers around the world have their interests in different categories of photography. Some prefer nature photography or abstract photography, but for those armature photographers who love portrait photography. Here are some expert pointers for the perfect portrait photograph. Here we will discuss the basic styles of Portrait Photography, including some ideas of different poses along with some tips and tricks of the trade.

All different categories of photography have a different set of basic rules that every one follows from time to time. These are crucial when understanding Portrait Photography, and help to bring the best results you desire.

Basics of Portrait Photography:

The first basic principal to follow when photographing a portrait is to always make sure you use a smaller aperture number. Aperture setting is the feature in the camera that allows a shallower depth of field. This allows full focus on the subject rather than anything in the background or foreground; as a result a sharp image is produced. With a depth of field that is deep enough to keep the whole face in focus but not that deep to blur out the background. Even though a portrait may have a blurry foreground or background. This property can enhance the composition of the picture in many ways. It helps by isolating the subject from everything else around it; this can be achieved by having command over the depth of field.

Keep in mind the eye direction of the subject. This is a crucial basic to look out for when shooting a portrait of a subject. When the subject is looking in some other direction it gives out an ambiguous feel. Like there’s more to what meets the eye although in reality there is not. Also give importance to the details around. It is because of these little details that you can add an entire new meaning to your photograph. Every detail can do something. When doing a portrait experiment with different light techniques, try to bring out the features of the face like a million dollar smile or wrinkles on an old person. This brings in heavy characteristics in the picture and tends to tell a story of its own.

Different Lighting Techniques:

When talking about portrait photography there are four basic lightning techniques that produce a variety of amazing results. There are several things to keep in mind when setting up the lightning pattern. This includes the lighting ratio, pattern, facial view and the angle of view.

There are four basic lighting techniques every portrait photographer should understand. The first one is the “Split Lighting”. This type of light tends to split the face into two equal halves, with one side being in the light and the other in the shadow. Best for creating dramatic images, “split lighting” has best results when working with a male subject. The second technique is known as “Loop Lighting”. In this pattern the goal is to create a shadow of the nose that shows up and forms a little loop around the subject’s cheek that travels down as far till the corner of the mouth. Keep in mind that you want to keep this shadow small. The light should travel downwards with the opposing shadow between the nose and cheek and continue from the bottom of the nose creating a loop-shaped shadow running toward the corner of the face.

To impose a gloomy much darker feel to the portrait, “Rembrandt Lighting” is suggested. Unlike “loop lighting” in the “Rembrandt lighting” technique the shadow of the nose and cheek touch each other, this forms a trapped little triangle in the middle. To get the proper “Rembrandt light” always make sure that the eye on the shadow side of the face catches a slight glare otherwise that eye will be dead and wouldn’t create a nice sparkling touch to the picture.

The last type of lighting on this list is the “Butterfly Lighting”. This technique gets its name from the little butterfly shaped shadow that it causes under the nose. This technique is carried out by placing the main face light at a height so that the photographer can shoot from underneath at different angles. This technique of lighting is advised for more fashion and glamor shots.

portrait photography  Pointers for the Perfect Portrait Photograph portrait photography

Various styles:

Portrait photography consists of many styles; some of these are “candid portrait” this calls for the subject to be unaware of the picture being taken and tends to give out a more natural feel of the subject. Another style is known as a “posed portrait” as the name suggests this require the subject to pose in an elegant way in order for a perfect shot. A “formal portrait” hence its name is a formal shot at portrait photography mostly used for formal and corporate photo sessions. The last style on this list is the “environment portrait”. This style focuses on the subject and its relationship towards the environment around. Like a chef working around the kitchen, or a businessman in their office etc.

Tips and Tricks from Experts:

 Some tips and tricks from expert photographer from all around the world. They suggest trying and connecting with the subject in order to ease out any uncomfortable feelings that might show up on camera. This often includes familiarizing yourself with their passions and interests to make them feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Always be aware of the lighting and environment. If shooting outside do consider the time of day and the direction of the sun to how you want the subject to pose. Early mornings and late afternoon are the best times for portrait photography. A weather forecast can be proved useful and can provide many splendid opportunities.

In the end the best tip our expert photographers suggest worldwide photograph enthusiast is to let their imagination run wild, experiment with different lighting techniques, use a variety of angles to choose from. Play with the camera’s shutter speed and aperture settings. This is a vital part of learning new tricks, and often results in many surprising results.


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