8 Tips Every Portrait Photographer Should Try Right Now
Let's face it...
There's a lot that you need to know to take high-quality portraits (or any type of photo, for that matter).
It's hard to keep track of everything, to be sure.
In the video above, Jessica Kobeissi offers up a few unique and high-impact portrait photography tips that you should be using.
Even better, she demonstrates each tip so you can learn how to shoot portraits.
Check out the video, and for a summary of some of Jessica's best tips, read below!
Accessorize Your Models
Yes, the model should be the focal point of any portrait, but you can make them more of a focal point by adding accessories that bring more attention to them.
This doesn't mean that you need to go over the top with feathers and jewels, either.
In fact, adding something as simple as the floral crown you see in the image above adds just enough color and texture to the shot to give it more interest.
Accessories can give any portrait more interest, but that's especially the case with close-up shots.
Whether it's earrings or a watch, a floral crown or a cool pair of sunglasses, accessorizing your models is a surefire way to create more interesting portraits.
Editor's Tip: These portrait photography accessories will spice up your images.
Keep Hair Away From the Model's Neck
Courtney Bliss Photography
You might have never thought that the model's hair could get in the way of a good portrait, but it can!
If you're photographing a woman or a man with long hair, if their hair obscures the view of their neck, it can look as though they don't have a neck at all.
That's not a good look...
Instead, be sure that you brush their hair back (always ask permission to do so first) so you can capture a shot that shows an elongated neck. Even keeping one side of the model's neck visible is often enough, as seen above.
Help Your Model Relax
Whether you're taking snapshots of your family with your iPhone or you're taking professional shots of a model with a Nikon D850, you need to help your model relax in front of the camera.
Sometimes, people tense up when in front of the camera, and this is often most obvious in the their mouth area and shoulders.
Having tightly pursed lips and tense shoulders makes the portrait look strained, and as a consequence, makes the viewer feel a little strained as well.
Abba Color Photography
So, try telling a lame joke to loosen the model up.
Adding a second person to the shot often works well to help the models relax, as seen in the images above.
You can also simply talk to them and engage them in conversation. In the process of talking, you'll often find that most people forget that they're being photographed.
Shoot Through Things for More Interesting Portrait Photography
Brittany Johnson Photography
One of the simplest ways to create more unique portraits is to shoot through something.
Since most portraits offer an unobstructed view of the model, placing something between your camera and the model immediately offers a new take on how to shoot portraits.
There are virtually endless possibilities for shooting through something as well - a thin piece of fabric, a plant, a window, you name it.
Using this method requires some practice, of course, but once you get the hang of shooting through things, the impact on your portraits can be spectacular.
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Be Aware of the Model's Hands
Abba Color Photography
Believe it or not, a model's hands can be the most awkward thing about a portrait.
That's because many people simply don't know what to do with their hands when their photo is taken, so they often end up clasped in front of the body or stuffed in their pockets.
You can get around this by simply giving the model some kind of prop to hold.
Not only does that relax their hands and make them look more natural, but as noted earlier, accessorizing your model can often bring more color, texture, and visual interest to the shot.
And as you can see above, simply directing the model regarding what to do with their hands can result in a more natural-looking image.
With that, you have a few must-have tips for taking portraits!
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