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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Five Great Tips when Taking That Portrait

By Dan Fieldman

One of the most popular forms of photography is portrait photography. Just about anyone who can point and shoot their camera can be considered portrait photographers. Obviously, however, there are differences in the quality of the portraits. There are certain tricks that professional portrait photographers use that allow them get the best out of their subjects. Portraits do not necessarily mean only a person's image. Portraits show character and emotion. If it is your goal to become a good portrait photographer I am about to share with you five tips that can give you a step up on the competition.

Rapport: Building rapport with your subject is the firs thing that you should learn. Interest in knowing your subjects is a plus. If you get to know your subject and they know you, your they will become more comfortable in front of the camera. When the shoot comes, you have better chances of getting the best natural expressions of the people you are photographing.

Personality: Always make sure that your photos will show the personality of your subject. You will only know this if you know the person. Make sure that their personality shows in their faces. Personality usually appears when the subject is not expecting a shot, so you have to be ready to take the picture when the opportunity comes.

Lighting: In general natural lighting is best. Don't let this rule of thumb sway you when it comes to emphasizing the person's face and character; in these instances you should always consider using artificial lighting. It is important to make sure the light is evenly distributed, or that it satisfies the angle that you want to emphasize. Lighting can have a great effect especially if you are looking for a serious picture.

Background: Most portraits use lighter backgrounds to emphasize the subject. However, it is also important to use the environment to add more character to your subject. Please be careful when using the environment that the color of your background and what your subject is wearing do not clash. Sometimes backgrounds become the flaw of a picture because the photographer didn't properly plan.

Plan: Be sure that you are ready before you go to the photo shoot. Not only that you have all the equipment that you need, but be sure that you can handle the job properly. Prepare all the necessary materials and be sure to bring a good topic for conversation so that your subject can relax while you are shooting.

Portrait photography is a really enjoyable hobby. If you're serious in making it your career, you can be sure that it can be lucrative as long as you perfect your craft. However, remember that you should have the heart for the job because portrait photography's first requirement is interest.

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