The Key Elements of Great Portrait Photography
Few branches of photography are more compelling, more diverse, or more challenging than portraiture. The rare ability to perfectly capture another person’s character and personality in a single shot or series of shots is perhaps one of the greatest achievements any photographer can claim.
The secret to quality portraits is a combination of technical skill, creative artistry, and lots of practice. Here are a few tips and pointers to help improve your craft and capture the perfect shot, every time.
Location and Lighting
One of the most important considerations of any photo session, especially one involving human subjects, is the setting and environment. Will the portraits be taken indoors or outdoors? If the location itself is part of the photo styling, such as a beach or garden setting, find a time of day when the natural light casts few shadows or harsh lights.
Many photographers prefer the “golden hours” just before sunrise or just after sunset for the best lighting effects. If you’re shooting indoors or plan to remove the background anyway, a neutral drop with a professional light set-up will give you consistently high quality results.
Your lens and equipment needs for portrait photography may vary by subject and location. In brightly lit conditions, the f-number of the human eye is around f/8.3, while in darker lighting it may be around f/2.1.
Professional photo editing services can often compensate for shadows or offer color correction services, but it’s good practice to always get the best shot you can from the start. However, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better in this field: while wildlife photographers can justifiably invest in a Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* (at 564 pounds and a focal length of 1700mm, it’s the biggest SLR lens ever made), most portrait photographers will be fine with a moderate telephoto lens.
Portraits taken for a professional headshot are going to have a different look and feel to them than those taken for an engagement announcement. Remember to always have your client’s purpose in mind, and make that your primary purpose, too.
For example, a professional client may ask you to remove the background in post-production for a cleaner look while a family portrait should be warm and inviting. Online advertising is a $149 billion per year trade, so if your client’s portrait is for marketing purposes, be sure to deliver a digital-friendly product.
The photographer’s work doesn’t end after the last picture is snapped. For the most satisfied customers and the best portraits, find a photo editing service for photographers to help you correct colors, remove the background, and deliver the finest quality product to your customers with ease.
And if you’re looking for the best professional photo editing services online, contact Picsera to unlock access to a suite of tools designed just for professional photographers.