Tips for Perfect Portrait Photography

You may have mastered the art of capturing cool shots at home or even knowing which is the best face to make for a stunning photo. But, do you know how to shoot the best portraits? Portrait photographing is a bit different and unique as compared to general full-body photography. The main intent of portrait photography is capturing and displaying something ‘essence’ of the subject; to say something about their personality, character, or life. Here are tips for shooting the perfect portrait photos.

Ask For Feedback From Your Subject

Sometimes the best way to find out whether you are taking great shots is to ask your subject about it. After a couple of shots, you can show the subject the shots and let him/her tell you how they think of the pictures. That way, they will tell you the photos they like, don’t like and why. This way you will know where to adjust and improve the quality of shots. Also, it will ensure that both of you walk out of the photo session happy.

Use Props

Tips for Perfect Portrait Photography
This may be a contentious issue since some photographers do not like using props.However, whatever works, use it. The bottom line here is capturing great images and however you do it is okay. You can even ask the subject to bring their favorite things. Before you jump to conclusions, props are not to be included in the photos. They are just meant to relax your subject and give them something to focus on.

Get Closer

Tips for Perfect Portrait Photography
We all tend to rely on zooms and shoot from far away. Shooting just part of a subject’s face immediately changes the whole character of the image. Eyes, of course, are the most powerful as they’re the window to the soul. Keep in mind that portraits are shot to create memories and a closer image will allow you to see more of the subject which is crucial years in future.

Comfort and Confidence Plays a Vital Role

Tips for Perfect Portrait Photography
The difference between a professional and an amateur portrait photographer can be seen by how relaxed the subject is. An experienced photographer knows how to put a subject comfortable, confident and at ease. Without doing this you may not be able to progress further in your portrait photos. Thus, take the time to master this concept before attempting to capture images of your subject. This may be done by an informal chat before the shoot and discussing how the whole process will take place. Develop your own techniques for relaxing both yourself and your subject. Also, make sure they feel confident in their clothes and be on the lookout for any issues such as overturned collars, misplaced bra straps, hairs and other things. Ensure they look at their best, turn up some good music and have fun shooting beautiful photos.

These are just a few tips that if put into proper and regular practice, will help you attain a level of excellence in portrait photography. Enjoy a happy shooting!

Essential Tips on How To Shoot in Black and White

If you are a person who is inspired by taking photographs, then most likely you’re obsessed with black and white photography. In a world full of color, sometimes you cannot beat a black and white photo. This type of photography can be a fascinating tool to convey a statement or mood story to your viewers. Even though you are taking color out of the photo, you’re left with so many amazing feelings about it. The photos look simple yet complex at the same time. Here are brilliant tips for taking black and white photographs.

Shoot Raw

Not every photographer has a camera having the RAW function available on them. Also, there are people who don’t know how to shoot raw. However, if your camera allows it and you know how to do it, shoot your images in raw because this will give you total control when you are editing later. You can still take great photographs in JPEG, but if you have the capability, you should definitely go with RAW.

Shoot In Color

If you don’t want to shoot RAW or your camera doesn’t allow it, then shoot in color. Even though it may sound counterproductive to shoot in color when you need black and white images, this is not the case. You will take the photos in color and then convert them to black and white later. Also, having color in your photos will give your photo editing software more information when you are editing. Most cameras have the black and white mode, but it doesn’t produce the best results as compared to first shooting in color then editing later.

Lowest ISO as Possible

The ISO plays a key role in the images you take. You probably already do this in colored photography but shooting in a low ISO is a very vital element when it comes to black and white photos. Photograph with as lowest ISO as you can since the noise may be even more noticeable in black and white. Even if you are after that “grainy look”, you can add that when editing later.

Timing is Very Important

Choosing when to shoot your images is very crucial when shooting black and white photography. Most people complain cloudy and dark days due to poor lighting, but what they don’t know is that this is the perfect time to capture photos in black and white. The low contrast will make your photos more dramatic and interesting. The next time the weather looks dark and cloudy, remember that it is the best time to shoot your black and white photos.

Think About Composition

Even though the rules of composition may be the same for all types of photography, there is one obvious factor that you need to keep in mind while shooting in black and white; you are not using color to impress the viewer’s eye! Thus, use shapes, textures, and tones to do this for you. It may take practice but its worth it if you really want to capture great photos. Also, pay special attention to highlights and shadows that will become features in your captured image.

These are some of the best tips for capturing the best black and white photos. However, remember that practice makes perfect. Experiment with different subjects, composition, textures, tones and lighting conditions.

How to Use Angles and Lighting for Portrait Photography

Are you wondering how professional photographers capture stunning and beautiful portrait photos? Have you tried taking portrait images but you still find that they are not as good as you want them to be? If you are not a professional photographer, you may experience lots of difficulties when capturing portrait photos with your camera. In this article, we will look at some of the best techniques you can use to manipulate angles and lighting to produce great photos. Don’t worry! You will be shooting amazingly dazzling photos in no time.

Camera Angles Matter in Portrait Photography

Do you know where should position yourself when shooting a portrait photograph? Which do you think is the best position in a certain position? For you to know all this, you need to learn the different camera angles in photography. There are basically three angles when it comes to portrait photography; the high angle, also known as bird’s eye view, normal angle also known as man’s eye view and low angle also known as worm’s eye view. The high angle is where you capture the photo with the camera above the subject’s face. This angle is used to diminish the subject for a sliming, feminizing, prettier shot. If you want to create a flattery image, then this is a great angle for head shot photography.

The next camera angle is the normal eye level angle. This angle is based on how we generally see things and gives us a natural feel to our subjects. This angle is mostly used in model photography or photo documentation or in situations where the photographer doesn’t want the subject to appear dwarfed or skewed. In this angle, you may also choose to shoot from the side just to add variety and art. Photographing from the side means that the camera sees only a part of the subject’s face, thus resulting in slimmer images.

The next angle is the worm’s angle(low angle). Shooting from below such that your camera points upwards to your subject enlarges the facial features and emphasizes their chin. This creates a masculine and more confident picture. The key here is capturing images in angles that best suit your situation. If the time allows, capture from as many angles as possible. This will help you choose the best angle, in case you are not sure which is the most suitable angle to take a perfect shot.

Manipulating Light and Choosing The Best Lens

Without proper lighting, your portrait photography is dead. Lighting is a very vital factor that determines whether your photos are flattery or not. First, you need to determine whether you will want to use artificial or natural lighting. If you choose to go with natural light, you need to determine the proper temperature or color of light. The day is divided into different color scales. For example, the morning brings out more blue color, while around noontime provides you more neutral colors. Even though neutral colors may be just perfect, they have a tendency of taking away any definition or statement you’re trying to convey in your photo. Another crucial aspect to consider when using natural light is learning how to use angles and directions of the light. For instance, the narrower the angle, the more shadows will be produced, and the broader the focused light, the softer your pictures will be since the shadows won’t be as defined.

What you may need to avoid in traditional photos are hard lines that come from harsh lights or direct sunlight. Strong lights that create shadows on the subject’s face may emphasize pimples, uneven skin, and blemishes. Practice and the understanding lighting techniques make the art of professional photography what it is. Using the light to your advantage, while at the same time keeping it from dominating your photos is the ultimate technique. Proper lighting is everything to shooting beautiful and delightful pictures.

When choosing your lens, it would be best to go for portrait lens rather than the wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens is perfect for full body shots or landscapes, but when it comes to portraits, it may enlarge the face and distort the image.

The above are just some of the tips which you can use to capture the best portrait photos. What you need to keep in mind is that practice makes perfect. Shoot from different angles and with different lighting. Be confident that you can shoot amazing images. Confidence and practice are two vehicles that will lead you to shooting fantastic images.

A Guide on Shooting a Fashion Show

Always Prepare First

You need to know your light. Moving subjects don’t do very well in low light, so understanding the environment is the first order of the project. If possible, check with the light engineer and find out what the show light will actually be like. Reaching the venue ahead of time will favor you because you will be able to catch the run-through. Accessing the backstage is usually very hard and unless you are part of the project, try to network beforehand or even during the event to get access. If you do, you will have a great opportunity for some unique shots. Models especially love being photographed so they will be happy to help.

White Balance Needs To Be Right

For a catwalk show, your white balance choice will play a huge role so don’t leave it on auto. This is the one place where you need to get it right on your camera because any corrections after that could change the colors of the designer clothes. This could end up pretty bad because you will probably not get an invite to shoot for that brand again.

You Need a High Shutter Speed

For a runway shoot, anything below 1/320sec will be useless. As far as fashion houses go, any kind of softness for print or online content will be unacceptable. While shooting, keep checking that you don’t nudge it accidentally. There won’t be time to make adjustments during the shoot so ensure you set it at the right speed and don’t go below that.

Increasing Your ISO Could Be a Good Thing

ISO performance on DSLR camera has improved greatly over the years. Most people are afraid of pushing up the numbers due to the noise but you shouldn’t be. Most cameras, even prosumers handle noise issues pretty well as they come with great algorithms designed to counter the noise. A pinch of grain will be worth the kind of absolute sharpness you will get any day.

Get the Right Glass

We can all agree that the lens is an incredibly important part of the camera. I mean, even with the latest camera body, if you are shooting with the 18-55mm kit lens on a dark catwalk, it will be useless. If you intend to shoot fashion, invest in the lens. Fat and bright lenses might be expensive but in the end, you won’t believe how worth they are. You will have better images and eventually, the lens will pay for itself. It doesn’t even have to be the oh so glorious f/2.8, even though it’s the holy grail, as long as it is a fixed
focal length, you are good.

Your Widest Aperture Is Not Necessary

Sometimes, a wide aperture plays a huge role in low-light situations when it comes to conquering speed and light. However, when you use the widest aperture, your depth of field will be shallower and you are likely to lose the finest details of the clothes. Make the shots as sharp as you can.

Set A Focus and Shoot At the Right Time

When it comes to fashion shows, your focus point needs to be at the top of your viewfinder around the models face. Set your camera at a continuous autofocus then use the tracking option to lock her face as she walks towards you. This does not mean you will be looking at her face. On the contrary, your focus will be on her feet and you will release your shutter as her heels hit the floor. This is why at most fashion shows, you hear a cacophony of “clicks” as the models march towards the cameras.

Get to Know Who’s who

Do your homework and get to know the famous faces on the runway. Even though they might be there for seconds, you have to make it count and get the perfect shot. If you are contracted by a client, they probably want to see all the clothes featured so ensure you capture every look.

Double Check Everything

Some things go without saying but check and double check all your gear. Ensure batteries are fully charged, lenses are well cleaned and every body part is included in the kit. Ensure the memory cards are formatted because running out of space on a live job is one of the worst things you could encounter.

Make New Friends

Get to know other photographers in your pit. However, stick to your spot as it can be very territorial with them and the professional ones will probably try to intimidate you. However, if you are friendly, with a good sense of humor, most of them will be willing to help you. You should also ask questions if you have any and you will be surprised at how much advice you may get.