If you want to get good at taking portraits, then you need to know the rules. However, if you want to be great at taking striking portraits, then you need to know how to break those rules. Keep reading for 6 ways to step out of the crowd with your imagery:
It's quite impressive just how much influence the direction of the subject's eyes have on an image. Many portraits just have their subject looking straight down the lens, and this is honestly something that manifests a genuine connection between the subject and anyone looking at that image. However, there are different things you can give a go. For instance, have the subject look off camera, which is when they put their attention outside the camera's field of view on something unseen to the viewer. That can result in both intrigue and candid feelings, as the viewer might wonder just what it is the subject is seeing and reacting to.
Composition is something that has quite a few 'rules' that come with it. Personally, it's a love/ hate sort of thing. One good rule to break is the Rule of Thirds, which suggests you put your subject in the centre of a hopefully powerful image. Other times, it might mean putting the subject to the left or right edge for more interesting pictures.
The majority of portraits get taken where the camera is either near or exactly at the subject's eye level. This is effective common sense, but totally changing the shooting angle can really add some excitement to your portrait. Get higher up so you can shoot down towards your subject, or alternatively get down towards the ground so you can shoot up. In either case, you're going to see your subject from a new angle likely to generate some intrigue.
Put your camera into its 'continuous shooting' or 'burst' mode so you can fire off multiple shots each time. Doing this lets you come up with a sequence of images that you can present as a collection rather than just having a single static image. This technique is especially useful when you photograph kids or any other active subject prone to rapidly changing their pose or position.
One more random element you can bring to your images is how you light them. There are practically limitless possibilities here. Create a specific mood with side-lighting, or you can do backlighting with silhouetting to hide specific features of your subject.
Get a specific lens that has a long focal length and then attach it to your camera. Or, just get so close that you photograph only one part of the image subject. Photographing someone's mouth, eyes, hands, or just the lower part of their body can leave the rest to the viewer's imagination.
In the post-shoot phase, it is vital to use editing software to enhance your portraits and make them stand out from the rest. Everyone knows that editing is important, but where do you start? Get a free portrait editor, PhotoDiva, that provides you with all the necessary tools to sculpt and resize facial features, correct skin imperfections, and apply makeup. It also contains professional photo editing options, like vignetting, and allows you to replace the background. So why not reap from these benefits and try it out for your next portrait photo.
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