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|Category:||Portraits and People|
10 Top Portrait Photography Tips - Professional portrait photographer Rossella Vanon shares her top tips for taking better portraits.
Words and images by Rossella Vanon - www.rvanonphotography.com
Tip 1Choose subjects that inspire you, or find something inspiring in them when you are not the one making the choice. It can be their eyes, the way they smile, the way they move, their freckles or their hair. Focus your shot on that little detail that makes them special.
Tip 3Get comfortable directing your subjects. Even if they are paying clients, they don’t know how things are looking on your side of the camera. If a pose isn't working, politely explain to them the reasons why, and provide a good alternative. It is important to be nice and friendly, but don’t be shy trying to be too respectful: you are the photographer, and the reason you are there is to take great shots, so that’s what you should be leaving the session with.
Tip 4Put some music on! If your subject is not used to posing for a photoshoot, it can be really hard for you to get a good shot. Sometimes even proper models take a while to warm up to cameras. Create a friendly environment, talk and avoid long silences. Ask them what kind of music they like and put some of it on during the shoot. It will relax and inspire both of you.
Photo © Rossella Vanon.
Tip 5Remember to shoot in between the poses too. That’s when your subject is less aware of the camera and when spontaneity really comes up. They are precious moments that are often missed.
Tip 6Enjoy what you are doing! If you do, everyone around you will sense it and will relax and enjoy it all a lot more as well.
Tip 7Be creative, both conceptually and camera-wise. Portraits don’t have to be necessarily studio-based. Be creative with your choice of location. Experiment with shooting modes and settings too. Have you tried shooting with a long exposure in combination with a flash light and a slow-moving subject?
Tip 8I personally love shooting portraits by using a very big aperture and blurring the whole background and part of the subject too. It gives a very simple, creative twist to the picture and I would definitely recommend it.
Tip 9If you are using natural light, try shooting against it. Photograph the subject with the sun behind them. You will have to consistently overexpose your camera and probably put a hood on your lens to avoid flare and help the focusing. I love the dreaming result it gives.
Tip 10Try shooting through things. Fabrics, glass, plastic, branches, grass... If you are close enough to them and you're using a big aperture (small f number), they will all nicely blur and just add texture, colour and reflections to your shots.
Photo © Rossella Vanon.
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