Taking portraits is one of the most popular activities that people do with their cameras. If you are a budding photographer, you may snap many pictures of yourself, loved ones, or strangers in the hope that the images have a uniqueness which conveys a certain feeling, emotion, or message. Whether you like to take posed or spontaneous pictures, the following tips can help to ensure that your images are not boring or uninspired.
One of the most important decisions to make when taking a photograph is to choose the right perspective. If you were just to randomly hold out your camera at eye level and snap away it is unlikely that the results will be of a stand out quality. When taking a portrait consider how you can use perspective to add more life to your images, for example you could drop to one knee, lie on the floor, or stand on a stool.
If the person you are photographing looks straight into the camera, the images that result may appear as exciting and stimulating as a passport photo. On the other hand, if your subject’s eyes were not looking directly down the lens barrel, the result can be more mysterious and candid. When snapping a picture of a group of people, try and get each to stare in different directions or at each other, this can make the image jump off the page.
Using a standard lens is not going to allow your photographs to appear any different than those of everyone else. Instead of using a 50 to 85 mm lens why not opt for a 24mm. Though this may result in some distortion in the subject’s features, the overall composition can have a special feel to it. Whether to position the face in the center or edge of the frame would depend upon what emotion you are trying to capture.
As with any type of photography, the key can often be in experimenting. Try out a few different approaches and find out which works best for you. Remember that taking attractive portraits should first and foremost be fun.
Only if you are happy with your images can you expect others to feel the same. No matter what the subject, as long as you have an eye for detail and are clear on the emotion you want the viewer to feel, in time you should develop the skills necessary to do portrait photography and snap the most enigmatic of photos.