- Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
- Direction & Quality of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography Anywhere
- Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers
A powerful portrait will stick with you for many years. It will be inspiring and it will communicate with you in a way that feels intimate. It's the easiest thing in the world to point your camera at something pretty or good looking, but it's hard to actually capture a memorable expression or gesture.
There are several factors that make a portrait great, that separate it from a mediocre shot of someone. Your subject could be a celebrity, or it could be your pharmacist. We each have the potential of being subjects in a powerful portrait. You have to know what you want from your subject before you start shooting and you have to communicate that. But it's a lot more than giving directions to a person who is posing. It's all about getting your subject in the right mindset and that can be very difficult for some photographers. It requires a skill set that has nothing to do with holding a camera and it comes after years of experience and working with different people.
(Success Tip:Take better photos with this simple deck of cards)
Lighting is another very important element in the equation. There are a lot of photographers with thousands of dollars worth of lighting gear who can't take a decent portrait with window light. Once again, it is a question talent and hard work rather than expensive equipment.
The location may or may not influence your portrait. It is entirely up to you if you want to take a close-up shot or an environmental portrait. Either way, you have to understand the differences and rules of each type of photograph.
Light, location and connection to your model are crucial. But there are other secrets to taking a truly powerful portrait.
(Success Tip #2: Even hobbyists can earn money with their photography with this method.)
Celebrity photographer Brian Smith shares his experience photographing some of the world's most famous people in an awesome video made for B&H. His words are gold to any photographer who loves taking portraits, no matter how new or old he is to the trade.