Five Simple Tricks That Will Improve Your Portrait Photography

Five Simple Tricks That Will Improve Your Portrait Photography

portrait photography with john mclenaghan orlando

Portrait photography is taking photos of living things.  Capturing a moment that shows the subject’s personality, attitude or feelings.

Here Are Five Simple Tricks To Consider When Taking Portraits...

#1 - Make A Connection

Take some time to learn about your subject and their style.  If this is your own child or family member, this may come easy!  If it's someone you just met, try to start the session by talking a little!

Find out what they are looking for in a portrait. Is this a lifestyle shot?  Is this a professional shot?  Find out how many photoshoots they have done.  There is undoubtedly something that went wrong the last time photos were taken, and something that went well.  Seek this information out!  Most often, you can put tensions to rest by just talking and asking simple questions.

#2 - Focus on Your Subjects Eyes

The question most often asked by beginning photographers is “where do I focus"?

Think about it this way...  

When you have a conversation with someone, you look them in the eye.  Not their ear or chin!  Same thing when shooting a portrait. Focus on the closest eye to your camera.  It's really that simple.

#3 - Experiment with Aperture

Shoot at a very wide aperture (ex- f/2.8) to isolate your subjects in focus, and to get a blurry background look. Close up your aperture (ex- f/8) to get more of the entire scene in focus. 

Keep backgrounds simple and uncluttered.  The person is the focus in any portrait, make sure the photo is all about them!

#4 - Light Sources

Be mindful of your main source of light.

If you’re outdoors, find where the suns at. Even if it is cloudy, a photographer needs to know from what direction the light is coming from.

If you’re indoors, find a window for more light or use some fill flash. Build a habit to look for the light wherever you go. See how different sources of light can change the scene around you.

You will make use of light in every photograph you ever take!!!

#5 - Golden Hour

Be mindful of harsh light and shadows. In the middle of the day, when the sun is directly overhead, the light can be unflattering to your subject. At dusk, the sun is low with softer light, and the sky is full of colors. This is a great time for a portrait - The golden hour!



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