6 Portrait Photography tips you must know

Capturing portraits perfectly is one of the most difficult and most satisfying tasks in the field of photography. But, the internet is overflowing with information on portrait photography and when there is information overflow not everything is true or useful. We at Fliqaindia will make it easy for you.

Here are 6 Portrait photography tips you must know:

Camera Gear

Your camera needs to have a hotshoe attachment, if you are shooting in a studio. It allows you to use flash units via a wireless transmitter.

When working with clients, tethering allows you to capture shots that then connect to a screen or computer which allows you to quick previews and helps you change the scene or pose as you see fit.

Some cameras have a wireless tether connection, so you don’t have to carry a long cable limiting your movement.

Prime lenses are recommended if you want that shallow depth of field and for that blurry bokeh background you need a lens that has a wider aperture. We recommend you invest in a 50mm lens. Zoom lenses allow you to vary your focal length.

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Camera settings

Manual mode is recommended for most but it is a bit overwhelming, so you can go with aperture priority mode.This gives you control over aperture and lets the camera choose the shutter speed. The ISO is set to what best suits your shooting condition and by controlling the aperture, you’re ensuring that you have a nice shallow depth of field. The shutter speed won’t be as much of a priority. If you’re in low light conditions, you’ll want to either be on a tripod or use Shutter Speed Priority and ensure that you check your focus to make sure that it’s on your subject. The aperture is determined automatically by your camera.

f-stop of 2.8 or lower is the best aperture for portraits as it creates a shallow depth of field. A shallower depth of field directs the viewer’s eye and blurs everything except the focal point. This should always be the eye closest to the camera in portraits.

By having everything else in the image off-focus, even if subtle, creates a flattering look and the skin in the rest of the face is a bit softer. It makes the eyes pop a bit more which helps create a connection between subject and viewer. Spot metering is best for portraits usually.

Focusing

Focusing is very important as you’re dealing with shallow depth of field most of the time so if the subject is in the same plane as the lens then it’s not an issue,if you focus on any of the eyes both the eyes will be in focus. The problem starts when the subject is not in the plane and when that is the case, always focus on the closest eye and make sure the focus is sharp. This is because when you are dealing with shallow depth of field, even if you’ve missed focus just by a bit, it will be very visible in the images. Ensure that with proper aperture and proper focus you’re getting sharp portrait images.

Composition

Portrait photography is all about the composition. Composition guidelines like leading lines rule of thirds can be used in portrait photography as well. The subject is the main focus of the image so you have to ensure you’re avoiding the distractions. To avoid distractions in the background, use wider aperture and focus on the subject but other than that if you’re using good composition you will be able to see that the actually the images look much much better so there’s not much to talk about composition. Adding a foreground element can give that extra edge to your photograph in portrait photography. Intentionally keep the foreground element out of focus then you will be able to get a very cool-looking flare and the images will look really really good. You needn’t use Photoshop to add flare. You can get the perfect photo.

Reflector

In Portrait photography, there are 14 types of lighting setups. Some of them include split lighting, loop lighting, butterfly lighting, Rembrandt lighting, rim lighting and silhouette lighting. You have to choose the best one for yourself and your photo. When you’re dealing with natural light you don’t have much flexibility in modifying the light. This is where the reflector is going to be a very useful reflective object. It basically reflects light so the light falls on the reflector. It is used when you want to get rid of shadows. It comes usually in silver and golden parts. You can use the golden side of the reflector as it actually works very nicely when you have that brownish skin tone and you want to add some warmth and colour to the skin tones. It also gives that even light and makes the colours pop so if you’re doing portrait photography try to get the reflector. It isn’t very expensive and it will be a very useful tool.

Location and Background

Location and Background play a greater role in landscape photography than portrait photography. But if you are in a location that isn’t amazing, you can use the background to your advantage. Creativity and thinking out of the box is the key. You can blur your background. If you’re getting white blown-out backgrounds, you can search for some trees to get that bouquet look. You can move into shade or you can move into light. You have to carefully analyse the background. So choose wisely. So here were the 6 essential tips for portrait photography to help you better your craft.

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