Hot tips for PORTRAIT photography

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Sharkbait, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Prophotoworkshop

    Prophotoworkshop TPF Noob!

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    That's a tough question, there are no fixed rules.
    It really Depends on what your going for.
    If you want silly go wide, if you want serious go big (lens).
    if you want distortion put the subject at the edge of the lens,
    less distortion put them in the middle, if you want them to look powerful shoot up,
    weak shoot down. Lower depth of field will bring more attention to the subject,
    More depth will put more emphasis on the environment as well.
    And then there's lighting...............


     
  2. MrsMoo

    MrsMoo TPF Noob!

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    I was told at college to let models bring their own music, it also helps them to feel relaxed in an unknown environment, like the studio.
    You could have an iPod docking station or a CD player in the studio;
    also taking photo's of teens who have headphones in gives it a stereotypical feel :)
     
  3. goodkarma

    goodkarma TPF Noob!

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    I only shoot outdoors so I only offer 2 sittings a day. My biggest tip would be to take the time you need until you get the shots you need. All of my packages have a predetermined time but I never stick to it. If we are done early, great if it take an extra 20 or 30 min great, as long as the client is happy that is what is the most important. I am always willing to turn the camera back on if the child decides to put on their best smiles all day on the way back to the parking lot! Also I always have two camera bodies with me at all times. I usually keep a 1.8 135 prime for those detail shots on one and a 16-80 for those wide open environmental shots (most of my clients want those as the setting is as much a part of the portraits as the people, I shoot on the beaches of Maui). Having the two lenses gives my clients a lot of choices in the look of their portraits.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  5. themedicine

    themedicine TPF Noob!

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    In response to the idea of not shooting hands or only shooting the sides of hands:

    The best tip I have learned for hands is that before it comes time to shoot them, especially closer up shots of rings and such, get the subject to left their hands over their head for a minute. Explain why you are doing it, or make some thing up like "my lights/lenses are so good I don't want to get too much definition." The result is that the blood drains from the hands and you get a minute or two to compose and shoot non-veiny fingers.

    And as far as kids go, acting pretty goofy works wonders. Kind of like a toned down clown. Key words toned down.
     
  6. willli

    willli TPF Noob!

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    For outdoor potraits I recomend a zoom lens My favorite is my new nikon 70-200 F2.8 VR II but any good 70-200 like canon will do the trick.

    I love that zoom factor for outdoor portraits because you can control the DOF with the aperture and the zoom and that is really handy on a shiny day. when you need to use small apertures
     
  7. marteen147

    marteen147 TPF Noob!

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    1.Focus on the eyes.

    The eyes are said to be the window of the soul. Therefore, nothing is more important than achieving sharp, crisp eyes in your shot. Capturing the eyes in a powerful way will draw the viewer into the photo, establishing a strong connection that will speak volumes.
    2. Watch your angles.

    Remember that for close up shots, angles will affect the outcome look and feel. For women, make the eyes appear larger and the face more delicate by shooting down on them. For men, emphasize strength and achievement by shooting slightly up.
    3. Use diffused light.

    In close up shots, the skin is a central feature. It’s crucial to show the skin without blemishes. Achieve this by using diffused light to gently wrap around the skin, bringing definition along the lines of the face without highlighting blemishes.
    4. Add a hair light

    Detail is critical in head-shots and are no more dynamic than when created with a hair-light. A hair-light can be placed above or behind the subject [with a flash or the sun] to add depth to the shot, and pull the top of the head out of the background.
    5. Use of Lens

    Nothing is more disturbing than a near-dynamic headshot that fails simply because of lens distortion. Generally, avoid mid to wide angle lenses for close headshots. Instead, use a lens that will compress your image and slim your subjects face – typically 90mm and above.
    6. Guide expression

    The final most important element is an expression to match the purpose of the headshot. It’s your job as photographer to pull out the most natural looks from your subjects. Do so by guiding them through complimenting conversation; i.e. asking serious questions to pull out a thoughtful gaze, or cracking a joke to capture a natural smile.


     
  8. thatfornoobs

    thatfornoobs TPF Noob!

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    There are many good apps for the ipod that are basically a listings of poses. Some of them prove to be very useful, showing you more "dangerous" poses. They can be used as a source of inspiration as well.
     
  9. Polina Rabtseva

    Polina Rabtseva TPF Noob!

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    i like canon 135mm 2.0 for portraits
     
  10. AnthonyRyanPhoto

    AnthonyRyanPhoto TPF Noob!

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    Study shots from photographers you like, then use them as inspiration as you are posing your clients. Just make sure that you make the shot "yours" and put your own spin on it.
     
  11. toddjamesphotography

    toddjamesphotography TPF Noob!

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    For portraits, I love to use long lenses at full zoom for strong DOF and separation of the subject from the background.
     
  12. josephe

    josephe TPF Noob!

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    I've even whined or barked like a puppy to get the dogs attention. If they think there is another little pup in my camera the keep looking in that direction with interest. The trick is to get the family to stop worrying about getting the animals attention toward the camera and just get their smiles ready for that perfect moment when the dog looks up. I've had more shots where mom or little Johnny is snapping fingers and looking at Rover right when the dog is perked ears and looking dead into the camera lens! Sometimes it works as a portrait too so never say never.
     

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