People are under the impression that portrait photography is easy, all you need to do is get the subject to sit there, point the camera and shoot. That is how you end up with some really bad portrait pictures. Taking a good portrait photo isn’t easy, you need to be able to adjust the lighting, position your camera and still work with your subject. Just consider the difference between a portrait on a magazine cover and your grade school pictures. If you want to learn how to take a good portrait photo then read on.
Be Careful with the Background
The background of your photos makes a huge difference in the quality of the pictures. A background that is too busy is just distracting, ideally you want a background that will reflect light. Use the background to create contrast, that is something you see quite often in glamour portraits. Professional headshots that are done for modeling agencies have a monochromatic background and portraits for business people often are just the natural environment, which brings us to the next tip.
Candid Pictures are Better
You remember those awful pictures you used to get in grade school? Half the problem with them is that they were posed, corporate headshots are almost as bad. Even when you are doing portrait pictures in a studio you will still have to make your subject look and feel natural and relaxed. Take as many pictures as you can and you may be surprised at which ones turn out the best.
Light is Your Friend
Light is everything in photography and portrait photography is no different. Soft lighting tends to work best, while bright lighting can make your subject looked washed out. If you try taking pictures with your subject standing under direct sunlight you will see exactly how it can ruin a picture. While you can always use a program like Photoshop to edit your picture sometimes they just can’t be saved.
Digital cameras can store as many pictures as your digital camera will allow so take a ton of pictures. This gives you time for your subject to relax and for you to get the perfect shot. You may spend more time looking through the pictures afterwards to find the right one than you actually did taking the pictures.
Taking good portraits is an art, that’s why good portrait photographers are in high demand and command high prices. Find a willing model and practice as often as you can. It will help you learn different styles and techniques to finally perfect your art.