Want to shoot your best portraits ever? We’ve got some great tips for this! Let’s start..
Portrait photography tips could be very different, from simple tweaks to going through your camera settings. To get great portrait shots is always a challenge, even if you have a decent camera that gives you more control and possibilities.
So we decided to create a list of the most interesting portrait tips and tricks that could be useful for any photographer and help them improve their skills.
Set a wide aperture
When taking portrait photos, it is a good idea to set an aperture around f/2.8 to f/5.6. With a wide aperture you will be able to capture a shallow depth of field, making the subject of your portrait stand out from the background.
If you want to control the depth of field, choose shooting in Aperture Priority mode, which lets your camera set the shutter speed for correct exposure.
You can buy special portrait lenses with wide apertures (from f/1.4 to f/2.8), which will let you blur backgrounds even more.
Settings for shutter speed
Choose focal length in your lens, otherwise blurred results will become a big problem for you.
Always make sure your effective focal length is lower than your shutter speed. For example, 1/20 sec with an 18mm focal length.
And don’t forget to use your camera’s anti-shake system if you have it. Some cameras have this feature built in around the sensor.
You will need to use a fast shutter speed to avoid the problem of blinks and motion blurring. This will also help to avoid camera shakes.
Simply increase your ISO (for example, from ISO100 to ISO400) to increase your shutter speed while in Aperture Priority mode .
If there is not enough light, increase to ISO1,600 or even 6,400.
How to choose your lens
Lens choice has a big impact on your portrait shooting process. A wide-angle lens is a must for portraits with visual impact. If you want to make your subject appear taller, shoot from a low angle. However, do not go close, because you might get some distortion.
Note that the background plays an important role in the photo. Always pay attention to everything that is going on in the background.
One of the best tools for creating portraits is a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. It will let you zoom in and also reduce the amount of background.
How to focus and frame
Make an interesting photo composition
Composition is very important! Try to zoom in and think of some cool way to get a great photo composition for your portrait. Look through some photo portraits online to get inspiration. A great technique is positioning your main subject on one side and capturing a very shallow depth of field by experimenting with wide apertures.
Chat with your model
The final shots aren’t going to be great if your model feels uncomfortable. Try to chat with your subject before and during the photoshoot, discuss posing and composition.
Always offer the best pose when the shoot begins. And be sure to try and catch real emotions.
How to pose for portraits
Your results will depend on many factors: how the main subject poses, stands and looks. Even a slight smile could bring a radical change to the overall emotion of the photograph.
Try to capture a range of expressions while shooting, so later you will have a choice of different options for editing. Play around and you will find what works best.
Importance of flash
How to use flash on sunny days
Use your flash when the sun is up. Unfortunately, the sun could be a big problem for shooting portraits. It may cause harsh shadows and burnt-out highlights.
Our advice is to use a “fill flash” for improving your sunny day portraits. Your camera will be able to capture a more balanced exposure.
A speedlight is a very powerful tool, it can give you a brighter burst of light even for a group of people. With speedlight you will have more control over settings: for example, to angle up or sideways, to bounce the light off ceilings and walls.
Send large files
Once you are done shooting, probably the most difficult thing will be having to manage the hundreds of photos. But when the editing part is over, the new problem you may face will be having to send all the photos to the people you photographed. Try filewhopper.com for large file transfer, it’s a super-easy way to share your high-resolution portraits. FileWhopper guarantees secure file transfer.
Thank you for being with us and have fun shooting portraits!