Portrait photography (commonly called portraiture) captures the likeness of a person or group of persons by photography. In portrait photography, the face or the facial expression of the individual photographed is usually the focal point of the image. If desired, the entire body and surrounding background can be included in the final image. Portrait photography is not a snapshot, but a carefully composed image of an individual or group of individuals in a controlled and still setting.
With portrait photography, all of the standard rules or guidelines of still photography continue to apply. However, just like with other photography, sometimes the resulting images provide that WOW factor when the rules are broken. The photographer is the artist and the camera’s film or digital memory card becomes the canvas. It is the portrait photographer’s responsibility to capture the mood, the expression, the light, and the personality of the subject.
Change the angle of the shot
For most facial portraits, camera is usually at eye level with the subject and the subject is looking straight at the camera lens. If you are not going for the more traditional, formal portrait, try taking your photos from different angles. Try getting low to the subject and point the camera up towards the subject’s face. Alternatively, get above the subject and shoot down while the subject is looking up at the camera. Consider shooting at a cross angle for some interesting perspective.
As you evaluate the results of the above actions, you may find that there will be subtle changes in how the lighting affects the highlighting of features or the elimination of shadows.
Experiment with composition
One of the first rules of photography taught is the “Rule of Thirds.” This rule has the photographer mentally divide the image into nine equal squares by imagining two parallel lines intersecting with two vertical lines. The focal point of the image rests on one of the points of intersection. This also gives the photographer four invisible lines that are useful for positioning other elements of the photograph. This all gives the image a sense of balance and tends to involve the viewer in the portrait.
With portrait photography, consciously breaking this rule can give you some very stunning portraits. Occasionally the mood or setting can give you some ideas as to what might work. Consider placing the subject or focal point squarely in the center of the image. On the other hand, perhaps having the subject on the edge of the photo can convey that story you are trying to capture.
Play with props
Props are very useful to the portrait photographer when taking photos of young children. Adding props to your adult portraiture can also provide for some very intriguing shots. A single rose or other favorite flower can do much for enhancing the photo and bringing out emotions you might not be able to capture otherwise. You do not want the prop to detract from or draw attention away from your subject, but a meaningful prop can add to the portraiture’s impact.
There are several other factors to consider in portrait photography. Paying attention to your composition, utilizing props, and changing the angle of the shot will go a long way towards helping you get that WOW factor.
Portrait photograpy is the art of capturing human faces in a number of situations and capturing a variety of emotions. The whole idea is to adequately capture the personality of the subject as well as their image. Portrait photography doesn’t have to be restricted to the studio either, as many people wish their portraits to be shot on location or in their own homes as well as the the traditional studio setup. Plus, one less glamourous aspect of portrait photography is for pictures used on official documents such as passports and the like.
With portrait style photography, the emphasis is very much on the subject themselves rather than the backdrop, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot be creative with the composition of each shot. After all, we’ve all seen those rigid, awkward portraits with cheap backgrounds where the subject is sat staring at the lens and wishing for it all to be over.
Creative portrait photography can capture so much more of a person’s personality if you are able to have them acting naturally, interacting with the other people in the image or simply in a more relaxed state than the regular sort of pictures you see people having taken. One of the most important elements of portrait based photography is the lighting, which is something that you really can’t skimp on when buying your photographic equipment.
Adequate lighting is the key to making your images look professional- it’s not just about the camera! Aim for soft and off-camera lighting, and be sure that shadows are eliminated.
When shooting outdoors, be sure that you have an electronic flash and a reflector at hand in your portrait photography arsenal. Above all, portrait photography is the practice of capturing a moment in an individual’s life, and once you have got their personality shining through, your work is much easier to do well.
The purpose of portrait photography is to display the resemblance, traits, and even the frame of mind of the person. Commonly it is not a picture, but a self-possessed representation of a person in a motionless position. Frequently shows an individual gazing straight at the camera. Unlike a lot of supplementary approach of photography, the areas under discussion are non-professional models. Portraits and photograph are memorializing figures of special occasions. The special occasions include occasions such as graduations, weddings and many other functions. They are professionally produced and hung in private homes as the token of remembrance and it is popular since the invention of ordinary camera.
Portrait photography became popular in the mid nineteenth century and it was very expensive. Now due to the advancement in the technology this kind of photo became relatively cheaper and hence the demand for this shot is increased. As the apparatus develop into more sophistication, the capability to capture images with small contact times gave photographer additional imaginative freedom and as a result created new styles of portrait photography. When portrait photographs are self-possessed and captured in a studio, the specialized photographer has control over the lighting of the masterpiece of the theme and can regulate track and intensity. The chief glow is the most important light cause for the photograph. It is located about 45 degrees to the left or right of the area under discussion, but in addition to that it can be used from above or below. A plug light is generally used against the main light, but beyond this with a lesser amount of intensity. A large amount lighting found in modern photography is generally a flicker of some sort. There are many unlike systems for portrait photography. Frequently it is advantageous to imprison the theme’s eyes and countenance in sharp focal point while allowing additional fewer significant essentials to be rendered in a supple focus. At other times, portraits of personage and his facial appearance might be the focal point of a masterpiece such as the hand, legs and body.
Traditional photography challenges to confine a well-rendered representation of a person. Conceptual portraiture produces a frame of mind and controversial response by using abnormal lighting or photo-manipulation. Extreme examples of portrait photography can be so expressive in the way that the novel person is completely lost in the artistic interpretation by the photographers. The goal is to generate an emotional reaction, rather than a cognitive identity. The hair and background lights are habitually not diffused. It is further significant to manage light spillage to other areas of the subject. Snoots and barn entrances facilitate the focus of lights accurately where the portrait photographer wants them. Background lights are occasionally used with color gels positioned in frontage of the light to produce colorful backgrounds.