Sure, you could take a simple, head-on portrait, and it will likely turn out beautifully. Sometimes, simple is what a client wants.
But there is more to taking a portrait than capturing a straight on head-shot, and thinking outside the box can accelerate your portrait potential. Here we have 10 cool ideas for your next portrait photography project:
1. Shoot from above
You can create an interesting angle by getting a little above your model. Do this by standing on a step stool or have your model sit or kneel while positioning yourself above them. Shooting from above can provide a sharp chin line and allow the eyes to be more piercing.
2. Go upside down
Shooting your model upside down forces the eye to look with a new perspective, as this is not how one is used to seeing a portrait photograph. Using this perspective can draw the viewer’s eyes to something that they may not have focused on in a conventional portrait photograph.
3. Add a textured background
The focus of a portrait should, of course, be your model, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add an extra dimension by placing them in front of a textured background. Such a background can provide more for the eye to explore and can also add some depth to the shot.
4. Add motion
Portraits do not have to be static. Adding a sense of motion can create an unexpected element to the shot or even a bit of whimsy. This could be done by bringing in a fan to gently blow hair or having the model twirl to swing her dress.
5. Shoot full body
Often one thinks of portraits as being either head-shots or three-quarter body shots. However, one can still capture a portrait when shooting the model’s full body. The benefit of such a shot is that it includes both the model’s outfit and surroundings.
6. Use shadows
You can incorporate shadows to make your portraits stand out. This can be accomplished by using dramatic lighting that keeps some of the face in shadow or by using something as common as a window blind.
7. Shoot for the emotion!
Portraits don’t always and shouldn’t always be the way you remember them being taken through school. Look for the raw emotion that one can exhibit and capture it!
8. Get in a line!
Portrait does not mean one, in this case it’s a grouping of portraits for a holiday photo, but the focus is clearly on the faces. Utilizing creative techniques like this will ensure fantastic group portraits.
Some creative post processing to add the butterfly and flip the side profile in this photo makes a direct impact. Look to showcase your work in new ways even after you’ve taken the photos.
10. Don’t focus on the face!
There are no set in stone rules with photography, who says you need to focus on the face for portraits. In this wonderful example of a new baby, the feet are in focus and make a wonderful portrait I’m sure the parents will cherish for years.
Portraits are a very intimate time, one shared between subject and photographer. The ends result can be a very beautiful thing and utilizing these techniques will enable you to create unique, lasting impressions for years of enjoyment.
One of the best tools to learn how to take better portraits is to have your own done from time to time, to see how it feels on the other end of the lens so you, in turn, can relate better with your subjects.
Be better portrait photographer by joining our online courses. Check them today on www.taminglightphotography.com.