Ideas for Taking Timeless Portraits
Portraits are perfect for business snapshots, senior photos, family pictures and much more. Photographers can shoot full-length or head-and-shoulders shots, or simply crop the subject’s face to fill the frame.
Full-length shots should include the subject’s surroundings, and may involve planning around the weather if shooting is scheduled outdoors.
Head and shoulder pictures blur out the background and focus on the subject’s face. For these types of shots, it is best to find a backdrop that is subdued, neutral or provides contrasting tones.
Photographers need to also consider what direction they want their subject facing. Subjects that look directly at the camera help to engage the viewer’s attention directly, while looking away and into the distance creates a subtle, reflective picture.
While head-on shots can be aesthetically pleasing, they can also appear confrontational. Three-quarters views are preferable and lovelier.
Portrait photography also captures the subject’s life, character and surroundings. It is not about making the subject simply look their best, but says more about the person. The photographer is the best judge about how to blend realism and flattery.
As always, poses, lighting and compositional approaches are different depending on if the subject is male or female. No one’s face is symmetrical so it is important to determine if it is best to shoot photos outdoors or indoors. Indoors offer more control, but less light.
Men prefer more dramatic and harsh lighting, which works well with black-and-white photos. Men prefer rugged, directional lighting that makes them look charismatic.
Women, on the other hand, prefer portraits that concentrate on their beauty, which means softer lighting and focusing on relaxing facial lines. Plain white walls will reflect soft spreads of light. Warm-tone light is also better, as it helps to disguise any blemishes.
Couples or family portraits are also popular. These are perfect for reunions or get-togethers. While it can be difficult to catch these moments on camera, photographers can distract couples with competitive activities, hobbies or sports to capture excitement and interaction.
Photographers have to notice every tiny detail in the background because attention to lighting, details with the subject and variations are very important to help capture the perfect picture.
Portraits look beautiful framed in antique oval frames, contemporary black oval frames or classic round photo frames. These allow the subject(s) to be the focal point of the attention instead of the background.