If you are preparing yourself for your first portrait photography session, and are not quite sure how to get the most out of your model, then you have come to the right place. Making sure your subject feels relaxed is one of the most important aspects to successful portrait photography, and this can be extremely difficult, especially if they are shy or are not used to being in front of the camera. Whether you are shooting a friend, child, or amateur model, understanding some essential tips and tricks will help your images appear professional, as well as make your model look more attractive.
There are no set rules when it comes to portrait photography, and there are hundreds of different poses, styles, and effects that can be used to create that perfect image. Don’t be afraid to try something different, as sometimes the most stunning portraits are the ones that break all the rules!
Getting to grips with some simple tips that you can implement during your first photoshoot, will ensure the best possible results.
Be Aware of Your Framing
Never cut off the limbs of your model by cropping the subject at their joints, as this can lead to a disastrous final image. Always be aware of how you are framing the photo. There is nothing worse than seeing a great image where an arm or leg has been amputated. It is disappointing when cropping is mindlessly carried out, so pay particular attention to what is and what isn’t included within the frame.
Focus on the Eyes
Focusing on your models eyes is a great way to draw in the viewer, and create a much more personal portrait. By consciously focusing on the eyes, you will not end up with images where the hair or ear is in focus, but the face is not.
Introduce a Prop
Adding a prop of some kind to your portrait session is a perfect way to create another point of interest. Props are an easy way to add a sense of story to the image, and give the model more depth that they may not have necessarily had without the use of the prop.
Although posed shots can be great, they often look like exactly that…posed. Many people don’t feel comfortable posing, and this will show through in the photograph. Switching to a candid method may be just what is needed for that extra special shot. Photographing your model with their family, friends, or whilst they are doing something they love, can lead to natural and relaxed images that shows your subjects true character.
Strive For a Natural Smile
Nothing beats a portrait that displays a true and heartwarming natural smile. A great way to capture this to make your subject feel at ease by ensuring that the photoshoot is not too rigid or set up. Another way to snap that natural smile is through doing something spontaneous or silly, which is especially effective when working with children! Try to catch your subject off guard, and in between the posed positions, as this can often be when the subject feels most relaxed and when the best images are produced.
And Just Remember…
To take multiple captures of each pose during your photo shoot as this way you will have plenty to choose from. Paying close attention to the models poses, along with the background and composition of your image is also important, and it will help minimize post processing. So keep your eyes open for intruding objects, stray hairs, or labels.