Portrait Photography

Today’s photo tip is all about including skin in your portrait photography.

In fact, since portrait photography generally involves the area from the chest and upwards, the skin problem mostly concerns bare arms and low-cropped bodices.

Here’s a golden rule you should put in your notebook now … “In a photo – any photo is not just a portrait – the eye is immediately drawn to the lightest area.”

Now consider a typical portrait, it has a background that is usually darker than the head being photographed. So, that makes the skin of the face, arms, and chest the lightest area.

How to Shoot Beautiful Portraits

With all the skin catching the eye, the viewer’s eyes bounce all over the place!

BTW – in high-key portraits, in our minds, the background disappears. Focus shifts to the subject – and the skin is still the lightest area.

In a portrait, you want all the focus to be on the face – nothing else! But, all that skin pulls the eye away. Not to mention that the arms generally drop in and out of the photo frame and will draw the eye completely out of the photo.

In other words, you could imagine ending up with a portrait where no one is actually seeing the face!

The Fundamentals

An added negative is that as we get older we put on some extra weight. For many women, weight appears on the arms first. Nobody wants a portrait that makes them look fat.

“But”, I can hear you say, “all fashion magazines show all the top models posing in skimpy clothes and showing A LOT of skin!”

They’re being photographed by top photographers, so what’s up?

Keep in mind that fashion photography and portrait photography serve very different purposes.

In portrait photography, we want the attention to be focused on the face. Then, if the viewer can describe the clothes being worn, we have failed.

In fashion photography we want attention focused on fashion! If no one can identify the model, that’s actually a good thing. (Except in the case of celebrity models – which is a completely different ballgame.)

So all of this has already been said – covering the arms and chest in portraits. Your clients will like them much better!

If you are planning to go on your next vacation without your camera – you are missing out on some incredible photo opportunities!

Parties, family gatherings, and so on are the perfect opportunity to get some portraits where your friends and family will look at them and say, “Wow, you did that?”

It’s time to finally close down that “uber-successful” smack that always brags about the latest deals he’s single-handedly put together that saved the company.

Trust me, she won’t be able to make portraits like you do, and EVERYONE would rather see portrait photography of themselves than listen to her other adventures! Use these photo tips starting today! For more information, check out the resource box!

Photography Tips

Are you looking to improve your portrait photography? Knowing how to set up your camera and lighting to take quality pictures is just one of the many steps. You should also pose your subjects while helping them feel relaxed and comfortable. Having great technical skills is a great start, but personal skills will also go a long way when photographing people. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider taking good portraits.

If you’re taking portraits in a studio make sure to set everything up before your subject arrives. Keeping your subjects waiting can make them feel anxious and even upset. These negative feelings will show up in photos. Get the right lighting. Has several props. Props can be used to make your subject feel more comfortable. Many people will relax more quickly if they are given something to do with their hands. If you’re using a background, have it before the person arrives. If you are shooting outside of a studio, try to familiarize yourself with the location before shooting. Walk around the area and get ideas for pictures.

You should plan the general look and feel for portraits before shooting. When your subject arrives discuss those ideas with them and get feedback. These original ideas change frequently, but they are good for setting you in the direction for photography sessions.

Don’t be afraid to give your subject direction.

Most people need to pose for photos. Many, if left to their own devices, will appear bent in the image. Having your subjects lean slightly forward will help stop them from slouching. While you are taking pictures to talk to our subjects about their interests. Getting to know them better will help them feel more comfortable. Finally, they may forget about the camera together. If someone isn’t comfortable having their portrait taken it really does show up in the picture. It is important that you go out of your way to help them relax.

Get creative. Creative portraits that break the rules can be very effective.

Try a different camera angel. Change lighting. Use filters. See what’s best for the mood you want to capture. Some portraits may include only the person’s hand. In some portraits fill the entire image. Photography is a creative art. Once you know the rules don’t be afraid to break them. When you make changes, be confident without being bossy. This will help your subject trust your decision and be more willing to follow your instructions.

Combining these skills with the technical skills you already have will help make you the most popular portrait photographer in town.