Portrait PhotographyWhat is portraiture?
Aportraitis apainting,photograph,sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not asnapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.
Key aspects of portrait photography
Catchlights - sparkle in the eye. This implies innocence Eye-level - Insure the level is the same as this can create the illusion they are powerful or week.Ensuring the eyes are sharp show emotion, talk to people looking in their eyes.Contrast make sure the background is a clear colour or not distracting.
Key aspects of portrait photography
Natural pose and communication doing this make sure the model feels natural and comfortable.
Background insure colours are correct and not too distracting.
Focal length use long focal length. Min 18mm lens.
Aperture use appropriate aperture to insure the image is sharp. Min f5.6 f11
Composition eliminate head room, too much space above could have been used below (chest) use rule of thirds.
What is it?Split lighting is one of the most basic lighting set ups used in portrait photography. A light source is placed 90 degrees from the subject, usually slightly higher than eye level and lighting one side of the face therefore leaving the other half of the face in shadow.
What is it?Rembrandt lighting is similar to split lighting, one side of the face is light but unlike split lighting, the other half of the face is immersed with shadow with a triangle of light just under the eye.
Why is it an effective lighting method?A Rembrandt lighting set up is simple to do and can create a moody tone to the image because one half of the face is shadowed.
Butterfly LightingWhat is it? It is where a light is placed behind the photography, directly facing the individual, this technique insures the subject is lit all the way around the face.
Why is it an effective lighting method? This method allows for an even lighting across the face, which can be used when producing imagery of an older individual.
Backlighting (Rim light)
What is it?Backlighting means the main light source is behind the subject. It is illuminating a subject from the back.
Why is it an effective lighting method?It is used by many photographers to create a certain look to the images, it creates a halo effect. Most of the time, facing the sun causes people to squint and creates an unflattering lighting therefore, facing people with their back to the sun creates better images.
What is it?Hi-Key lighting is used to create a good mood within the image, this particular lighting method insures there are no shadows on the subject and this is particularly noticeable when the subject is a person. Hi-Key produces soft, bright and low contrast images and the lighting ratio is around 1:1. therefore, all thats left within the image is the strong details of the subject.
What is it?Low key lighting creates deep shadows around the structure of the subject where the lighting ratio is very high. It is a moody and dark lighting to create emotion or mood within the image.
Portrait PhotographyA portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.-Charles Baudelaire
Portraiture is a window to the soul Holding Virgina - Sally Mann
Types of Portraits Candid PosedFormalCoupleEnvironmentalSportingChildrenGroupWhen we speak of portrait photography in general terms there's a tendency to overlook the sub-categories. From the strictly formal to the candid street shot. Here is a range of the more common types of portrait photography.
Candidun-posed andunplanned photo
Posed Communication between photographer and the subject about the body position and expression
FormalCommunication between photographer and the subject regarding clothing, location, style and mood
CoupleInterpretation of a relationship between two people Hiroshima, August of 1945
Small GroupInterpretation of a common bond between members of a group
EnvironmentalAn environmental portrait shows the subject(s) in their own territory.
Sportingshows the subject with their uniform, equipment in their sporting environment.The important factor is to let the equipment and location tell part of the story.
Portrait TipsChoosing the Right BackgroundFocus on the EyesLighting, Lighting and more LightingChange the Format FramingAlter Your PerspectiveExperiment with Subject ExpressionsPlay with focusGive Your Subject Space to Look IntoReflection & ShadowMovementGet serious
Choosing the Right Background
Focus on the Eyes
the eyes are the window to the soul
Lighting, Lighting and more LightingLighting is the most important element in any photo composition and sets the mood, feeling and character of your photo.
Change the Format FramingMix your framing
Alter Your Perspectivecompletely change the angle that you shoot from
Experiment with Subject Expressions
Same shot+different focus=different story
(UN)FocusIt adds some mystery to the image
Give Your Subject Space to Look Into
Reflection & Shadow
MovementUse movement to show action, even if it blurs out the subject entirely.
Get seriousNot all portraits need to have a smile, capture the serious emotions too
but not too serious.