Tricks for Great Portrait Shots



1) Build a healthy rapport with your subject before the shoot to make them feel relaxed in front of the camera.


With my experience in modelling, I have found meeting the photographer before the shoot has calmed my nerves, I also get a better idea of what they are after, so I can prepare for the shoot prior (clothes, hairstyle, accessories, time and location), this is especially for shoots that are considered uncomfortable and controversial. So be aware you may need to buy your model a tea or coffee before the shooting day.


2) Keep up the interaction with your subject throughout the shoot so they don't feel awkward or embarrassed.


Furthering my point above, communication and simple acts of kindness go a long way. The photoshoot will probably last a good few hours, try to get a conversation flowing, otherwise, the model will either feel compelled to speak or feel too uncomfortable and want to leave as soon as possible.


In my experience with modelling, there is a vulnerable aspect to showing yourself to a contract that says you are agreeing for these photos to be used anywhere and the photographer doesn't have to tell you where. There has to be absolute trust between the photographer and the model.


3) Bring an arsenal of cuddly toys to keep young children entertained while you take their photographs.


Toys can give interesting facial expressions and body reactions. Use a toy or two to get the child's attention towards the camera, children also love unexpected reactions, try to make them laugh or play hide and seek.


Don't just resort to a studio, go outside, to the park or the beach, children get bored very quickly if there is nothing to do, you could have a better background, lighting and interaction this way.


4) Shooting against a blank wall will make an efficient studio backdrop.


Not everyone can afford to rent a studio, having a blank wall in your house or outside is as effective as a studio and you will get natural stunning light effects.


If the room is too dark, try reflecting a flashlight onto the white ceiling, to fill the room with light. Open up all the curtains and let the window light flood in, to illuminate your subject for beautifully lit portraits


Taking advantage of what light you already have can always benefit you, you are less likely to have off-putting lights and natural smooth lighting on the subject's face.




Ring Flashes

Above-right

Unique Catchlights

The unusual, circular catchlight that appears in the subject's eyes is one of the most well-known qualities of a ring flash.


Above

Get Creative

There are various ways to use a ring flash and include it in your images because it has such a unique and uncommon effect.


Right

Distinctive Shadow

A ring flash casts an outline shadow around your subject, giving the photograph an abstract, distinct shadow look.








Portable Led Lighting


Indoor, late afternoon or night portrait shooting with LED lighting is possible, even on cloudy days. A strobe or speedlight, on the other hand, is a superior choice for overpowering the sun on location because it is brighter.


There are many different varieties of LED lights, including those that can alter their brightness and colour temperature. It is critical to adapt LEDS to obtain gentle, appealing, and attractive light - an overall better light quality.


Use a dark coloured background, not white. LED lighting reflects, and the white will be overexposed, black backgrounds with LED will achieve an excellent chiaroscuro effect.