When we talk of portrait photography, it involves much more than just capturing a person’s facial and body features. A well-taken portrait connects with the viewers and also conveys the subject’s personality at a glance. This can’t be achieved by simply popping up to a location with the subject and photographing them without any thought behind it. There are some very important factors that you must consider in order to take effective portraits. In this video, photographer Alen Palander walks you through five steps that you can follow to improve your portrait photography:
“Portrait photography is very unique to the person you’re taking pictures of, and unique to the story that you want to tell.”
To say that you’ve captured a person’s essence is a very powerful statement. It’s your job as the portrait photographer to reflect your subject’s personality in your frame – which is really a lot of responsibility when you think about it. This is why Palander emphasizes the need to conceptualize and plan. This includes location scouting, discussing the concept with the subject and deciding on what to wear, and also studying the work of others to get inspired for the shoot.
And when it comes to the actual shooting process, abide by your vision. Execute your shots to be in alignment with the theme and concept that you have in mind. And while working towards the concept, don’t forget to keep an eye on the lighting and shadows, contrast, and the background. Having the image clutter-free makes your life so much easier in post. While the post-process is important, try to keep it to a minimum. It’s best to work in a way that you get most of the things right on camera.
Remember that the art of portrait photography can’t be mastered with these steps only. But, they will help you to build a strong base for the greater things that lie ahead.
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