Practical Portrait Photography Tips for Photographing Your Teenager
- Picture Perfect Lighting: An Innovative Lighting System for Photographing People
- The Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Crafting Light and Shadow
- Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
Photo by Joy Deb from Pexels
Your child has probably been a portrait subject of yours since birth, maybe even before.
Now that they are teenagers, the opportunities for making portraits continue. In fact, the opportunities increase!
The portrait photography tips provided below for making images of your teenagers are simple to implement. Use these tips to improve your photos and make images that you and your child can appreciate.
How to Photograph Teens
Photo by AndriyKo Podilnyk on Unsplash
Creating a pleasant portrait of a teenager is easier than you might think.
Part of the beauty of youth is just that, the beauty of youth. Using high-quality equipment, implementing the rules of composition and good posing, and making good use of portrait lighting techniques will give you great portraits of the young men or women in your family.
Photographing teens could also be a decent source of income by means of senior portrait sessions.
Senior portraits are one of the most desirable pictures teens and their parents are wanting at that momentous time of their life where they are transitioning from the life of high school to the adult world.
Let’s have a look at some top tips on how to photograph teens.
Recommended Portrait Lighting Reading:
Poses For Teenagers
photo by CoffeeAndMilk via iStock
One of the more difficult aspects of how to photograph teens is finding poses for them that don’t make them feel self-conscious.
A couple of general or all-purpose portrait photography tips that I am fond of are to give subjects something to do with their hands or to turn your session into a lifestyle portrait.
photo by Sergii Gnatiuk via iStock
Both of these options help cross that huge gap that sometimes exists between the subject and the lens. Putting the subject at ease is another method that results in pleasant, natural-feeling poses.
Sometimes all that’s needed is to hand your portrait subject one familiar item. When I try out this method, I like to stay away from any gender stereotyping. If a young woman enjoys auto mechanics or drafting, or if a young man is an amazing artist or dancer, play to their strengths
Above all, whatever method or technique used, poses for teenagers should feel comfortable for the young subject. A self-conscious person or a person forcing a pose will both appear uncomfortable and unnatural. In my experience, this applies especially to teenagers and younger people.
photo by AndreyPopov via iStock
Find out what works for you. Work with teenagers you know, perhaps relatives or your own children, or the kids of your close friends.
Once you figure out what is beneficial for your style or brand of photography, branch out to others if you want to start making great senior portraits.
Included in my personal tips for photographing teens is this safety message: Please stay off of train tracks. Several reasons…They are dangerous. It’s illegal trespassing in many jurisdictions. The pose on a train track image is passe and cliche anyways. Stay safe!
Portrait Lighting Tips for Teenagers
Photo by Tavqeer Athar from Pexels
Most of the standard lighting techniques for any style of portrait will suffice. A lot of times, instead of attempting to employ a specific technique or configuration such as Rembrandt lighting or broad lighting, I will go with the feel or atmosphere desired by subject and photographer.
Primarily, I will attempt to create either high-key or low-key images. The main difference between the two is contrast. High-key lighting will have small ratios of key to fill light. Common ratios are 2:1 or 1:1. The colors don't have to be bright or the image overexposed, just a low lighting ratio.
Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 from Pexels
In contrast, a low-key effect will have higher ratios, such as 3:1, 5:1, or higher. To keep it simple, high-key has low lighting ratios, low-key has high lighting ratios.
These two styles create a mood more than they do anything else. Regardless of colors or scene brightness, high-key tends to come across as light and airy, while low-key is somber and serious.
Artificial lighting is often the real key to achieving either of these lighting and exposure styles. An easy to use, portable, high quality I’ve been enjoying lately is the Hakutatz Pocket Size LED Light. It has excellent color and brightness, is completely variable in power and color output, and can be controlled by a smartphone.
One or two continuous lights, strategically placed, can give you complete control over style, mood, and exposure. If you’ve been searching for a portable light with excellent color and brightness, consider the Hakutatz LED Light.
Photographing Teens Can Be Fun
photo by AntonioGuillem via iStock
It can also be a profitable endeavor, if that’s what your intent is. Senior photography is one of the fastest growing and changing genres of portrait photography. Present some examples of your own quality imagery and you could be very busy during graduation season.
Making fun or moody portraits of your own teenage children can provide years of family interest and happy memories. It’s surprisingly easy.
Photo by JT Kim from Pexels
To sum it all up: give them comfortable posing direction, light it properly for whatever style of image you’re trying to make, make use of the tips and techniques of exposure, lens selection, and composition you already know, and put your subject at ease. Also be sure to check out the “Learn More” links in this article for even more guidance.
Following and expanding from these portrait photography tips will result in portraits you will treasure for years to come.