Taking Wow Factor Portrait Photos
Taking photos should be easy now, especially since we have digital cameras on our cell phones, or pocket digicams in our bags
Portraits range from close-ups to long distance shots where the setting dominates the image. But the focus must always be on the subject of the portrait.
Did the arrangement of the photo subjects seem too stiff, or boring, or too fixed?
The details in the background add to the photo. It depends on what mood you want to put in the image you want.
Do you want to surround a person with items from everyday life to reveal their character? Or is the face enough to tell the story you want to reveal?
Photography is all about light. Low light brings out striking details in a person's body. Bright light washes out the details and gives the image a dreamy feel. Sometimes overexposing and underexposing the subject can give unusual yet eye-catching effects to the portrait. So can the direction and the height of the light source.
Is the lighting scheme flexible? Is the lighting effect unnatural? What mood does the light give?
When some people take pictures of themselves with their cell phone digicams, they hold their phones up in the air and take their photos from a high angle. This focuses attention to their faces and eyes. Low-angle shots show more of the subject's body. Some photographers shoot their portraits at eye level, but tilt their cameras diagonally to make their photos look dynamic, as well as to add stunning depth to the background.
The subject is the point of the portrait. Was the person relaxed, or self-conscious? A good remedy is to take candid shots to have that person feel at ease and act more naturally instead of uncomfortably posed. This works well on kids, especially because kids hardly stay put.
What is the subject doing? Where is the subject looking? Is the person looking at a direction outside the picture, or something within the photo? What part of the body is the picture focusing on? How much, or how little, of the person is supposed to be seen? Is there makeup involved?
Digicams have zoom lenses that can go from normal to long range. Digital SLRs, though, can have wide-angle lenses, macro lenses and telephoto lenses. Wide angle lenses usually distort the images of the photo, but have great depth of field, so everything in the background will have sharper focus. The longer the lens is, the blurrier the background will get.
In the end, though, the most important thing to have to create the best portrait photo is practice, the combination of time and effort. If you have the time to put in the effort, eventually you'll make great photo portraits.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colin McDonald writes on behalf of Steven Brooks Photographer - Wedding Photographer London