As reproducing portraits from photographs has gained momentum, there has been a rush for getting portrait photographs shot. Hand over a camera to any person and he will surely come out with some or other photograph. But do you really want this mediocre photograph to be transformed into a portrait of yours. No! Portrait is a life long treasure, which will live on to be seen even by your grandchildren. So pose your best for a portrait photograph and above all get the best photographer to shoot you.
What creates an outstanding portrait photograph? That is a difficult question and not many top photographers will be ready to divulge their secret. Experts have listed a few important guidelines for the beginners who would like to make a career in the field of portrait photography.
In order to produce outstanding portraits, the first thing to do is to make your basics very strong. There are basic techniques of photography. Create a mastery over these techniques, one at a time, and you are heading towards your goal; i.e. becoming a good portrait photographer. How far does the presence of a studio, equipments, and the technical resources help? Yes, these are helpful, but their absence will not completely mar the new artist’s efforts.
Copying the style of top portrait photographers. In any other setting, this would have been unacceptable. Nevertheless, here you can take inspiration from the excellent portraits of photographers. Watch the basic techniques that they have utilized and then build on this foundation a style of yours.
A good understanding of what a portrait is will be very important. Portrait is a likeness of a person, with particular emphasis on the face of the subject. A good portrait sees through the external face of the subject as to what story it tells. This is known as depicting the subject’s character on the portrait. A good rapport with the person to be filmed will allow the portrait photographer to have a sound understanding of his character and thus ably reproduce likeness in the picture.
Portrait photography is thus not a mechanical task. It involves skill and a clear understanding of human nature. It is just like breaking into a topic with friends. Raise a few topics for discussion between you and the subject. There will surely be one topic in which both of you have an interest. The idea is to break ice between you and the subject. An affinity to subject makes him more relaxed and thus prepares him for a more natural pose.
Start right away as soon as this relaxed mood is brought about. Shoot a multitude of pics. This is no rule but presents you with more choice. Your subject need not be formally dressed (except when the setting needs to depict strength and authority). In fact, casual dressing creates a more natural photograph for portraits. To say ‘cheese’ is not customary while taking a portrait photograph. Many good photographs with no smiling faces have their own mysterious charm.
To summarized, there are no set rules in the field of portrait photography. Being sensitive to the subject and the environment, keeping the basics intact and developing ones own style; these are three steps to becoming a top portrait photographer.
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