As weird as it may sound, many folks still believe that if they want to get a good picture of themselves they have to ask for professional help. Shooting quality pictures is not as challenging as they say, and thatís nice to know. Needless to say, professional camera makes 80% of the deal, but you can shoot good photos with a regular camera as well. Portrait is a very special and challenging field when it comes to photo shooting. You are in charge of expressing the heart and soul by capturing the face, and thatís easier said than done. Moreover, you have to remember about different things except for the face: lighting conditions, shadows, backgrounds and so on. For those who need to shoot a portrait, photography can be vicious, even the best shots have more tricks than Paul Danielsí sleeve. Without further explanations, letís skip straight to the point.
The first tip for good portraying is to focus on the eyes. Indeed, eyes are the most striking part of the face. You can concentrate on them and edit them afterwards using some specific software. Thus, you can make them brighter and create an unforgettable and charming look.
Another tip to be mentioned is avoiding ďproductionĒ pics. This is the point that many photographers neglect. The point is they believe that there are some rules and basic guidelines that suit everyone. ĒCímon sweetie, show me the passionĒ, ďRaise your chinĒ... Such directions are an integral part of the process, but sometimes they can suck the life out of the image. Thatís a wrong approach because all people are created different and whatís good for one can be unsuitable for another. That sounds trivial, but try to avoid clichťs. Being a good professional means having your own style. You can talk to your models, crack jokes, do anything you want to make them feel comfortable. Feel free to give them advice but donít be pushy. Donít insist on anything, let them open up and show their real selves. Thatís what makes a good portrait.
Try to keep the picture as natural as possible. This is really important because people are dog-tired of similar pics with similar airs. The more natural your photo looks the better.
Feel free to try various perspectives and settings. Just keep in mind that when it comes to portraits there is just one rule: no rules. Use your imagination and the result will impress everyone.
Another thing to think about is the notorious zoom question. Zooming can add some advantages to the total look, but it also comes with a lot of unwanted consequences involved. Every photographer is familiar with this though choice, so be careful and think twice before zooming in.
Another crucial point is the fact that your model isnít the only thing to consider. For instance, setting the right background is absolutely crucial. Mind your subjectís hair, skin and eyes colors and use it when you set the background. You donít have to make it a perfectr match-match, but try to do your best to make it look harmonious. Besides, background options may vary depending on the portraitís specifics. Thus, if you shoot a collective or a family one, try to make a match of all family members and the background in terms of colors and shadows. Many professional photographers love blurry backgrounds. It is a perfect way out if you are not sure what exact environment to choose. It doesnít distract from the face and make the picture more lively and appealing.
Good lighting is absolutely crucial as well. Unfortunately, most of us canít afford buying expensive tools or rent a studio with necessary professional lighting equipment. But donít worry, you can do it yourself! First of all, remember that people always look better in the sun, so this is the easiest way to go if you are not a pro but want to shoot like a pro. This is a gospel truth and works in almost every single case. Even if you own lots of lighting tools, you donít have to use them all Ė one is quite enough. In two words, lighting depends on the face itself. Itís not a secret that good lighting can flatter the virtues.
And finally, donít forget to say your prayer to Sweet Laser Jesus Mother of Photoshop before printing. But remember that moderation in all things is crucial. Merely add/remove some light or shadows and thatís enough. So, with all these tricks you can doubtlessly start taking better pictures right away. Itís time for the first trial!
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Valarie Martin is a professional photographer. She uses picture editor to edit picture and succeeds every single time.
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