Portrait photography is a captivating art form, and it can be very tricky to master. Whether you’re an expert or novice photographer, taking great portraits is an art that comes with experience. Many novice photographers think it’s as simple as pointing and shooting, but the truth is that some planning is necessary to take a great portrait.
For example: Are you getting a portrait shoot? Or are you taking the role of a photographer? Either way, there are some things you should know about a portrait shoot. If you are preparing for a portrait shoot with a client, it’s important to make sure you know how to prepare and what to do when the time comes.
Helpful tips for Beginners
Portrait photography is a powerful communication tool since it allows you to capture your subject’s personality while also conveying a sense of their environment. While everyone has their own style, there are some things that every photographer should know before preparing for a portrait shoot.
Here are some tips to help you in your shoot:
What’s your preferred method? – Photographers preparing for a portrait shoot are of two minds: Should I shoot photos of my subject in their environment, or should I bring them to an unfamiliar location that will help the shoot stand out? While the first option offers the benefit of allowing for more relaxed shoots and a better chance of capturing natural expressions, it also means you’ll have to deal with any background distractions and props that may be in the way. The second method will give a more polished, professional look but does have its drawbacks: your subject will need to adjust to unfamiliar settings, your shoot will have a limited time window, and you’ll have to ensure you can shoot with the desired background.
Make your subject or client comfortable – If you’re a photographer who wants to create great shots of a client, you have to know how to help your clients feel comfortable and at ease. The best way to do this is to do a pre-shoot consultation, where you can talk to your client about their expectations for the shoot and show them a few examples of your previous work. It is important to review what the client will wear, what the setting will look like, and what the end product for the shoot will be.
Select the ideal shoot location – To be relaxed and comfortable, you should choose a location that you know well and that suits the client. If you are shooting outdoors, you should choose a place where there are few distractions and where you and the client will feel comfortable having the shoot.
The natural distraction tends to make the shot look more real, more natural. But it also depends on the client and the type of location they prefer, depending on the shoot requirements. Interestingly, there are various firms that offer different locations at one venue. This way, you also wouldn’t have to travel and shift to another place if any need of shooting a different scene arises. You might want to look at this filming location to have a better idea of the services you could get on hiring any similar site.
Prepare some props – To make for a great portrait, you want to make sure your subject feels comfortable in the moment. While friendly chat, or telling a joke, can help to put your subject at ease. Bringing in props can also help. Props can set the tone of your photos and help your subject to feel more relaxed and open.
Be comfortable with your camera – You should know how it works, all the features, how to use it, and you should be comfortable with the settings. A portrait session is a lot different from a wedding shoot or a fashion shoot. As a photographer, your goal is to inspire your subject to relax in front of the camera and forget about everything else except for one’s self. If you are the model, then you need to know how to pose in a photo. You will look better if you know how to pose.
Pay attention to the smaller details – One of the important aspects of a portrait is to capture the environment your subject is in. This could also pertain to other things such as the background and lighting.
Check the weather – If you plan to shoot outdoors, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast first since cloudy skies and wind are not ideal for portraits.
Portrait photography is a highly enjoyable creative activity. But it’s not just about manipulating the camera’s settings and adding filters until your subject looks good. You should also prepare yourself to carry out the shoot to the photographer’s satisfaction. Learn to focus on the subject and handle the camera well.