One of the benefits of digital photography is that we can take tons of photos – and then work on them in Photoshop – until we finally get a good one! Where portrait photography used to be pretty much the realm of the professional, now by brute force even the newest amateur can get good quality photos.
But, isn’t there a better way?
First… you should buy the best photo gear that you can afford. While it is true that the best photos are created by the photographer and not the camera, it will make it easier if you have good equipment. In the long run you will be better off with less – top quality – equipment than with masses of second rate gear.
Next… believe it or not, most people don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera. And yes, that includes all the “duck-faced” selfies we take over and over again. Put those same people in front of some lights and a pro quality photo set-up and they will freeze every time.
Work at finding a way to relax your subject. Have a chat before the shoot and build some rapport. Explain everything that you will be doing and tell them that if a few shots don’t work out, it’s no big deal. Joke around if you are the type of person that can do that.
Find a way that works for you – it is vital to a great result.
Props can add some interest and color to a shot – plus it gives your subject something to do with their hands. Have them bring in objects that will show their interests and hobbies. BTW – they make a good conversation starter too!
Use them in some but not all of the shots.
Move around… it is very easy to wind up in a rut where all of our portraits are taken from the same vantage point. (Usually from directly in front of the subject at our eye level.)
Try standing on a step ladder and shoot down on them. Try lying on the ground and shooting up… Get down to the same (eye) level as kids or pets, pictures taken from above just don’t work.
Get in close… Whether with a zoom lens or by moving closer to your subject, be sure to fill the frame. There is nothing worse than a “portrait” that is nothing but a tiny blob off in the corner.
Consider your light… Photography is all about light and you should pay attention to it if you want quality photos! Learn how to modify it, color it, shape it and so on. There is absolutely no need to be stuck working with bad light when it is so easy to alter.
Grab a couple good books on photography and start going through them one page at a time – with your camera in hand – and master all the concepts. You will be amazed at how quickly you will become the best photographer in your area.
To learn more about a great online class, check out – Photography Master Class
For a bit of fun check out – Trick Photography
Want to see the latest and greatest photo equipment and reviews?