Anyone who aim with a camera can take portraits anytime. But having set some few things aside, today I’m going to share some knowledge about portrait Photography. There are few things to consider while taking portraits of People. For examples Characteristic or personality of the person you are photographing, Perspective from which position you are taking the photo, The eye contact of the person, The background and not last but the least is the lighting. These are something i keep in mind while taking portraits. A portrait is defined as a likeness of a person, especially of the person’s face.
1. Characteristics: While taking photos of people, friends, family and our affectionate ones there is an important thing to remember, that is the character of the person who is being photograph. To know the person, understand him or her, So that you can bring out the personality and characteristics in your picture. This is very important. A good portrait will contain at least one element that reveals the subject’s personality, attitude, unique mannerisms or any of the other features or traits that form the personal nature of the person. In order to capture their essence of the person in a portrait, You need to watch for signals in a subject’s mannerism, reactions, expressions and body language. You must take all possible steps to put a subject at ease in order for her or him to appear natural in front of your camera.
2. Perspective: Perspective is another important thing to consider. It depends on you after knowing your character how you want to take a photo. You can shoot from a lower place and straight on, Shoot downwards, Shoot upwards, Shoot wide or up-close, Shoot behind things or through a reflection. I may use different objects in relative spaces in the photograph. Have fun while taking the photos and experiment to find out which gives you the best perspective for that particular portrait.
3. Eye Contact: When Photographing a person’s face, attention to the eyes is the key. It is important to focus on the eyes. Also, whether the person is making the eye contact or not, makes a huge difference on the mood and intensity of the photo. The eyes are very important. Through the eyes a person’s expression and personality is revealed.
There are 3 kinds of eye contact that could be used. 1. The direct eye contact where your subject is directly looking at you through the lens. 2. Eye contact between two subjects and 3. No eye contact at all. While taking portraits you can think which 1 of the 3 eye contact while help your photos to show the story of your subject most.
4. Background: Another important thing is selecting the background of the photo and props. Consider how it interacts with the person’s character, surroundings and clothing. The mood you want to create in the photograph. Proper choice of backdrops/background can enhanced the beauty of the picture.
5. Lighting: Good lighting is the key part in a portraiture. Knowing how to use light to meet a desired look in your photo requires a deeper understanding. There are 4 common portrait lighting patterns.
- Split lighting
- Loop lighting
- Rembrandt lighting
- Butterfly lighting
I always love to take the portrait of my subject with a natural light. But of course it’s not possible all the time giving the situation or where I’m taking it. But i try my best to take the portrait suing the natural light. If you know the basics of this 4 lighting pattern, you will definitely be able to take a good portrait of your subject. Whether it’s inside a studio or outside.
In my next article hopefully I will talk about lighting with more depth.
When you are starting these tips might help you a bit to practice portraiture. Once you know them by heart you will see that you don’t even have to consider anything. you look through your viewfinder and you just know what you have to do.
Of all be passionate about taking portraits and have fun while taking it.. There is no limit to learn. As I’m still in the learning process. 🙂 This is my 1st try to write about Photography. I hope it could help you a little.