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Portrait Photography Composition

Dan Eitreim

August 21, 2015

Photography is an art and not a science. There is no finite formula that would make you take better photos. The infinite combination of techniques, styles, exposure and even the time when the photo was taken makes a great photo. As a portrait photographer, take three things to heart when composing a photo.

They are: the rule of thirds, s curves and head and shoulder axes.

The rule of thirds is a classic posing technique in photography. Have you ever played tic tac toe? The rule of third is an imaginary tic tac toe on the display of your camera. Basically, your subject should be positioned on one of the intersecting points of the grid. Doing so will create a balance from side to side and it will add motion to the photo where placing the subject dead center can create a static image.

The S curve applies to single or at most two subject. As it connotes, it mean having your subject accentuate in an S shape pattern. The flow of the shape will be like reading. The one part of the S will start on the top left and will end on the lower right. Imagine winding river. This technique will add dynamic or action to your photo.

Head and shoulder axes. A basic good photo is where the subjects’ shoulder is turned at an angle to the camera. When the shoulders face the camera head on, it would look like a mug shot and the subject will loo wider.

There are an infinite ways to make your photos dynamic and amazing. On single portraits, the faces, shoulders, eyes and mouths are the most important stuff to put emphasis on. When taking portraits of one or two people, the best way is to talk to them. I typically ‘converse’ with the bride as she poses so that her attention (here eyes are looking at me). I try find common interests that will lighten up the session and avoid any fake expressions.

I typically take at least two shots per poses. I make it a point to take one where they are smiling and one where they are serious. You never know what the subject will end up liking.

Be aware of how your subjects’ chin height. You don’t want them to look snooty but at the same time, you will not want their ‘second chin’ to show up if they have any.

One last technique, when taking three fourths length portraits, never break the portrait at a joint. They will look like they are amputees when they are not.

I have learned all these techniques from photo sessions with high school seniors.

Practice makes perfect photos so go out there and snap away!

I have photographed approximately 200 weddings since 2004. Each and one of them were exciting and unique. I always learned a thing or two after each coverage. I signed up with ezine to share with you the hands on experience that I gained. To get to know more about me please visit my website: [www.ramysblog.com]

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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