General Photography

Different Ways to Capture Portraits

portrait photographyLots of photographers, particularly those who only got into the business, might need help with figuring out new ways to take portraits. Because doing the same thing to each of your clients is not cool. They’ll scroll through your gallery and suddenly sees someone who poses and smile the exact same way they did.

So, here are a couple of things you can do to still be creative with the same idea!

Change expression

Still, use the same pose, but guide your model to show a different smile or glare. From intense to soft glares will give a different vibe to the pictures.

Change perspective

Keep the model in the same place, but change your position. If you took the pictures from the left, now shift to the right side. Take a side view of the model, or take the shoot from below.

Shooting from a lower point will give an effect of a taller model. This is great when your model has an insecurity with her height.

Focus on background

Learn how to focus and create a beautiful bokeh. The background might not look clear, but they will complement the main subject nicely when blurred the right way.

In other cases when the background is not too far from your point of focus, you need to find a background which complements the whole picture.

Fill half of the composition with something else

Another interesting way to do portrait photography is to allow something bigger to enter the frame. The busy road of the city in the middle as your model leans on the fence, or the wide brick wall that she leans on, give off the sensation of something bigger with your client in the midst of it.

Tell them to be themselves

Instead of guiding them, learn to guide your models to express themselves. It’s not easy admittedly for people who are not familiar with you to suddenly show their true colors. Learning to communicate and keeping people comfortable around you will definitely help with this. Smiles that are shown from the heart always turns out nicer.

Focus on eye

Instead of trying to focus on the overall face, focus on the eyes of the models. Eyes show the most intense emotion and attract people the most when they see a portrait.

Pitch black background

This is the best way to draw out the features of your model’s face. The black background prevents people from getting distracted in the picture. Use your flash carefully to light up only the most important part of the models: face, shoulder, and hands (if it’s in the frame).

What’s great with this method is that you don’t always have to bother lighting up all parts of the face. Leaving 10% one side of the face a little dark gives an authentic feel to the portrait.

Off-camera look

Off-camera looks are still an important part of portrait photography, although direct look has its own impact. It’s better if the model is not forcing a certain pose in off-camera look as it’ll look unnatural. As much as possible, let them stand in a way they feel most comfortable and confident with. Let them flip their hair, or sit the way they like.