When people want to have a portrait of themselves, they usually go to a painter instead of a photographer. Why do you think so? This is perhaps because painters have the ability to highlight what the subject wants for others or even themselves to see in the portrait.
Photographers, on the other hand, are very limited in the sense that they cant change the way a particular subject looks. They can only shoot photos, which relies heavily on the cameras capability, lighting, background, and angles. Also, at the subjects consent, photographers can use photoshop or other photo editing
apps to have better emphasis.
However, pitting photography against painting isnt really a hopeless case for photographers. In fact, it can be as good, if not better, if people just go to the right place, such as GP Looks
There are a lot of ways to take excellent portraits and business headshots. Below are some of the few essential tips to do it, without going too technical.
1. Choose The Perfect Background
Its not really the case that, contrary to the common belief, the subject is everything in a portrait. In reality, the background youll use is equally important as the person youll take a photo of. Remember, a background too noisy can take the limelight away from your subject, which is a big no-no in photography.
You want your subject to be the center of attraction, and for sure, thats what your subject wants. So, choose a quiet or neutral background in such a way that it doesnt take away the viewers focus, but, instead, help redirect the attention to the subject.
Going neutral doesnt have to be plain and boring. Choosing bright colors is possible just as long as it still helps highlight what needs to be highlighted.
2. Light Your Way To Perfection
Lighting is the best form of highlighting your subject. Through it, you can give justice to a feature thats often neglected just because it wasnt given the right focus. In in-studio photoshoot, you know the drill. But, shooting outdoors is an entirely different story.
The natural daylight is every photographers best friend, especially when shooting outdoors. Of course, you dont want it to be as sunny as it could get as it tends to cast hard shadows here and there.
However, given your creativity and resourcefulness as a photographer, you can still make use of the sun by taking the opportunity to treat it as a challenge rather than an obstacle. Use the sun as a backlight, perhaps, or you can illuminate your subjects face with it.
3. Make The Subject At Ease
You feel that just about everyone nowadays loves selfies, some even too shameless for comfort. However, there are still a lot of people who dont feel good about taking their photos.
Some are downright shy, while others may view photograph sessions as a very stressful encounter. Others, on the other hand, just feel awkward to smile or pose for no good reason, especially in front of a stranger; not all can act nor put on a front.
This is where having an icebreaker can come in handy. Be friendly and start a pet talk if necessary. Ask for their inputs, and give your suggestions. Openness leads to your subject being more open and losing their inhibitions.
4. Act Quickly
You may have warmed up your subject to a level that you can take natural smiles and poses. However, dont expect them to keep that level of confidence for a long time if thats not who they really are.
That's why you need to work fast while keeping it perfect; strike while the iron is hot.
While shooting, give instructions in a gentle manner, like the way you warmed them up before the start of the shoot. Make the shifting of poses as smooth as possible, or youre going to risk intimidating them. You can even allow them to do their own poses and expressions to let them know that their inputs also matter.
5. Focus On The Subjects Face and Eyes
In shooting portrait photos, the subjects primary concern is their face its everything for them. So, its important to make just the right amount of exposure.
A too bright or too dark background wont matter as long as the face is justly lit. There are features in your camera that you can set to ignore extremely lit or dimmed parts and focus on whats important.
Focusing on the eyes also creates the best portrait as it would appear that the photo is directly looking at the viewer. This results in a more engaging portrait, which is probably the best thing that your subject wants.
Some people might consider photography an exact science. However, it isnt usually the case. While you can always set exact sizes and proportions to a perceived ideal level, no particular rule of thumb can be the basis that can tell which can be an artwork and which cant be.
In fact, even candid shots
can just be as stunning as a carefully taken portrait. Nevertheless, nothing beats following the guidelines, coupled with the photographers creativity, a nice camera, and being at the right place at the right time.