- Do's and Don'ts for Beautiful Maternity Photography
- 3 Posing Tips to Immediately Improve Your Portrait Photography
Ross Kyker Photography
If you ask me, half the battle of taking a great portrait is simply coming up with creative portrait ideas.
Yet, for some reason, new photographers, in particular, can have difficulty envisioning how to compose a portrait that not only makes the subject look beautiful but is also unique, too.
There's tons of inspiration out there for portrait photography, including the PhotographyTalk galleries, YouTube, Instagram, and other online sources.
But instead of sending you out into the big bad world of the internet to try to find ideas on your own, here's a few portrait photography tips that anyone can try.
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Try a Dark Background
Chelsea Haworth Photography
Dark is dramatic, as far as I'm concerned...
As you can see in the example above, placing this couple in front of a dark background resulted in quite a compelling portrait.
This works for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the dark, uniform background does what it's supposed to do - provide a clean backdrop for the portrait.
Yes, the color is dark and dramatic, but by using an otherwise plain background, the photographer is able to draw our attention to the couple and keep it there.
How to make it more creative: The soft, diffused light that was used to illuminate the couple also makes this a successful image, with soft highlights and delicate shadows that give the portrait tons of depth while offering a nice contrast with the muted background.
Use Natural Backlighting
Kate Boggs Photography
Natural lighting is where it's at for portraits.
As shown above, Golden Hour lighting, in particular, offers beautifully soft, warm light for your portraits.
But more than that, using backlighting can give your portraits a bright, fresh look with just as much drama as using a deep, dark background does.
In this example, the photographer positioned the setting sun just above the model's temple.
This placement is ideal because it helps draw attention to the model's face. Don't be afraid to place the sun very close to the model's face, either. In fact, a unique look is to have the sunlight partially obscure the face, as was done here.
How to make it more creative: By contrasting warm-toned backlighting with darker tones (i.e., the breathtaking maternity gown and the surrounding landscape) you can also create a much more engaging and compelling visual story.
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Add Implied Movement
Ross Kyker Photography
One of the best ways to get creative with your portraits is to add implied movement.
That's because our eyes are naturally drawn to things in motion, so having elements in your portraits that play off of that make them inherently more interesting to view.
You can add movement in a couple of ways, too.
Above, you can see how the model's incredible gown and upwardly extended arms indicate motion.
Notice how the photographer accentuated that motion by taking the photo in portrait orientation - it extends the shot upward, allowing our eyes to get a full view of all the implied motion in the shot.
Vic and Marie Photography
Of course, you don't have to be that dramatic to imply motion...
In this shot, the couple appears as though they might be dancing, simply by the way that their arms are extended toward one another.
That gives the impression that this portrait is perhaps one of a very long sequence of images in which this happy couple is spending time together.
How to make it more creative: Bring a fan and use it to add movement to the model's hair or wardrobe to get subtle implied motion.
The point here is that getting creative with portraiture is a lot easier if you have some inspiration.
Use the inspiration you get from these amazing portraits, take these beginner portrait photography tips to heart, and start taking more creative portraits today!
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