Behind the Scenes of a Model Street Portrait Photoshoot

Portrait photography is about more than just capturing a pretty face. There are a lot of things that go behind a successful portrait. A well-taken portrait connects with the viewer and is able to invoke emotions. To take such portraits, it is the photographer’s responsibility to ensure all the pieces work together. This means nailing the composition, pose, expressions, location and props. In today’s interesting video, professional portrait photographer Manny Ortiz takes us behind the scene of a street portrait photoshoot. Watch as he also shares some useful tips in the process:

For this video, Ortiz uses his Sony A1 camera with a Sony 50mm f/1.2 GM lens.

Ortiz makes street portrait photography look easy. One of the key reasons is the way he directs his model; this is something you must learn as you grow. It is difficult to get a natural-looking portrait shot by guiding the model with her poses to the last inch. This approach creates robotic results. Instead, like Ortiz does with his model, you can tell your subject what you’re looking for. This makes it easier for them to express themselves better. On that note, keep your eyes out for some candid opportunities. Chances are high that your best shot will turn out to be one of those candids.

Using props is another way you can elevate your portraits to the next level. Eye-catching props with flashy colors make the photo much more engaging. Look for props that work in the scene, such as hats, sunglasses, umbrellas and anything else that goes with your subject’s outfit or their surroundings.

Another good tip: shoot from various perspectives. You can see in the video that the model doesn’t just stand while posing. She’s not afraid to sit down; if she does, you can try shooting from eye level, or else at a lower or higher angle.

You can see how Ortiz makes beautiful use of the sun as a backlight to snap some gorgeous portraits. Also, the way he uses bridges and roads as leading lines is fantastic. There’s a lot more to learn from the video—be sure to watch the whole thing.

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