The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Portrait Photography

Whether you’re a budding professional photographer or someone who is just trying to take the best possible pictures of their family, mastering portrait photography can be an extremely rewarding and somewhat daunting pursuit. To get a good portrait, you have to be mindful of not only the standard photography controls, like aperture and exposure but also the mood and physical appearance of your model. This is what makes people so much harder to photograph than animals or static objects – imagine if your dog could complain about how their hair looks in a snapshot! To help you get started, here’s our comprehensive checklist of all the things you should keep in mind while taking a portrait. The following list is prepared by the professionals who were featured in Atlanta top 10 wedding photographers list.

1. Lighting

In many cases, lighting is the deciding factor that determines whether a portrait is acceptable or not. This is because it has a significant effect on how a person’s face looks on film; improper lighting can amplify wrinkles and emphasize bulges while good lighting can mask imperfections and take years off a face.

To start, make sure that the light illuminating the model is multi-directional. By illuminating the figure from more than one angle, you can prevent the casting of weird shadows and the flattening of features. It is also best if the light is diffused, rather than direct. Diffused light is more scattered, and, therefore, more flattering to the skin. Finally, make sure that the light temperature complements your subject’s complexion – if you’re not sure, natural light is universally appropriate for portrait work.

2. Lens

Lens usage is a significant factor in portrait photography that is often neglected by beginners. Using the wrong lens can cause distortion of the facial features, making for a full and non-complementary shot. Stick to standard angle lenses or medium-long lenses; these are the ones that will produce the least distortion, without flattening the face too much.

3. Poses

A happy and confident subject always makes for a great picture. Have your model try some different poses and pick out their favorite from the bunch. Also, consider having them move or perform a task while the picture is taken, which can create a more dynamic effect.

The most universally accurate advice about portrait taking is that it all comes down to how the subject feels about it. As long as you are mindful and involve the model in picture making process, you’ll be sure to get a picture worth posing for.

Thanks once again to the photographers from Atlanta, GA for sharing the above checklist to help beginner wedding photographers improve how they shoot indoors.

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