Topics we will discussLightingAnglesPosingTips
First, and foremost.As a beginner in portrait photography, you will definitely need to learn more on a trial-and-error basis.We will cover many aspects that can help you improve your abilities, but, in the end, different things work for different people.TRIAL-AND-ERROR!
LightingIs absolute key to amazing portraitsYou will be working with several types of light the next few daysNatural & Artificial lightHard & Soft lightIn portrait photography, you want to do your best at making the shadows disappear. (In some cases, shadows are good. Remember, TRIAL-AND-ERROR!)
Recap of LightingHardCreates dark shadows1 light source from 1 directionSoftCreates light shadows, if any at allMore than 1 light source from multiple directionsNatural Natural, Outdoor light (The Sun)ArtificialAnything that is not natural, outdoor light (light bulbs)High Key Lighting (New)Bright lighting (creates a happy mood)Low Key Lighting (New)Dark lighting (creates a dramatic mood)Directions of LightFront, Back, & Side
AnglesWe have already discussed the different types of anglesHigh- weak fragile smallLow- strong power largeSlanted- unease disorientationEye-Level- normal real-life Use different angles to create certain moods in your photos
ScenarioIf you are photographing a newborn baby and you want to photograph them in a vulnerable state, what type of angle would you use?LowHighSlantedEye-Level
ScenarioIf you are photographing a soldier in Iraq and you want to photograph him in a dominant state, what type of angle would you use?LowHighSlantedEye-Level
ScenarioIf you are photographing a Senior in high school and you want to photograph he/she in their natural everyday life, what type of angle would you use?LowHighSlantedEye-Level
ScenarioIf you are photographing a D.J. at a party event and you want to photograph him in an unusual state, what type of angle would you use?LowHighSlantedEye-Level
AnglesACTIVITYTake quality portraits of your neighbor using the 4 different angles
PosingBody language is very important and can tell you how comfortable or uncomfortable your subject isThings we will be focusing onHands & ArmsFeet & LegsHead/ChinShouldersHipsJointsEyes
Posing.HandsYou should bend fingers at all jointsLadies should have more of an open handGentlemen should have more of a closed handTry not to intertwine fingers
Posing.HandsEncourage your model to keep hands & fingers relaxedIf they cant relax, consider composing shots that dont include their handsOryou can consider giving them something to hold ontoProps MUST be relevant to the shotExamples: Basketball, guitar, binder, etcOrhave them rest their hands upon some other element in the shotExamples: Chair, leg, waist, etc
PosingArmsElbows bent express a comfortable casualnessArms straight give a feeling of formality and often stiffness (to be used with much caution)These are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do thingsTRIAL AND ERROR!!
PosingFeetFeet hip width apart will give a look of strengthFeet at different angles or heights (on a step, chair, etc) will give balance to depth.These are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do thingsTRIAL AND ERROR!!
PosingLegsLegs spread hip width apart while standing will give an air of strengthGenerally while standing, one leg should hold the body weight; the other leg can be bent, or extended behind like a graceful dancerCan cross one leg over the otherThese are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do thingsTRIAL AND ERROR!!
ActivityPractice with hands, arms, legs, and feet.
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PosingShouldersShoulders should be on different planes (one slightly higher or lower than the other)Shoulders square on will express a strong attitudeSometimes square shoulders can create a solid picture, but use it wiselyThese are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do thingsTRIAL AND ERROR!!
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PosingHead/ChinHead tipped back slightly will generally give an attitude of a punk Head tipped back to the high shoulder will feel fun and flirtyGood for girlsHead down toward the low shoulder can express power or position (especially when shooting from a low angle)Good for guysThese are a few pointers, but there are various ways to do thingsTRIAL AND ERROR!!
ActivityPracticing with Shoulders & Head position
PosingJointsOne rule; if it bends, bend it. This goes for elbows, knees, wrists, etc.
If it bends, bend it.
EyesYou can have your subject looking straight at the camera.This pulls your viewer in automatically and creates an instant focal point
EyesYou can have your subject looking at something outside the frameThis leads your viewer to wonder what grabbing the subjects attention
EyesYou can have your subject looking within the frame
EyesGive your subject space to look in tooThis is a great rule to follow, but does have a time when it would be useful to breakTRIAL & ERROR!
PosingIn portraits, it is very helpful to take pictures in this orderHead shotsShoulder & upWaist & upKnee & up or full body shots
ActivityPicture order, Eyes, & Bending
So what does it takeTo become a great Portrait Photographer?
Portrait PhotographyPractice! Practice! Practice!Match poses with personalitiesThis requires communication skills to get to know your subjectGo for what is NaturalIf your subject is uncomfortable, it will showBe Patient! TRIAL & ERROR!
TipsAlter your PerspectiveTry various angles!!Play with Eye ContactLook within the frame, out of the frame, etcExperiment with LightingSHOOT CANDIDLY!!!!No posing! In the moment!
TipsIntroduce propsNeeds to have relevance to the pictureObscure part of your subject You can do this with clothing, objects, their hands or just by framing part of them out of the image.Take a series of shotsUse burst mode on your camera
Obscure part of your subject
Take a series of shots
TipsChange the format framingVertical or HorizontalExperiment with expressionsShoot slightly below the eye lineCan create flattering picturesFILL THE FRAME!!!!!!!!Works perfect with portraits!