As George Eastman, the founder of Kodak said, “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."
The most important consideration in portrait photography is the lighting. The best and easiest light to work with is natural light. However, avoid bright sunlight! Overcast days are the BEST as the clouds are natures own softbox! Natural light, softboxes, on camera flash or off camera flash... it is all critical to know as you move forward with photography.
This image was shot on July 3rd in the heat of the day... it was a very bright sunny day and not a cloud in the sky. Great if you are on the lake or swimming at the beach but not great if you are shooting family portraits!! I had to work hard to find closed shade in order to avoid harsh shadows and washing people out.
Beautifully focused eyes grab your attention and keep it there. They should be tack sharp. They eyes are everything and you should always focus on the eyes. We have all heard it... they are the windows to the soul and it is TRUE. Eyes look best when they are well lit and you can see the beautiful catch lights. (The catch lights are the reflection of a light source in the eyes, for example, a flash or a reflection from the sun.) The size, shape, and brightness of your catch lights depend on the light source you use.
When taking a portrait, look for distracting elements in the background. Sometimes you just need to move a few inches in either direction or use the subject to block it out.
In each of the above images, the subjects were outside with a wide variety of backgrounds, a school, a busy marina, a park. In each instance, if you shoot wide open, the background takes on a creamy, simple and clean background and removes distractions. The young man on the upper left side was photographed at a busy marina with lots of bright light in the middle of the day. We found open shade and a simple background to minimize distractions and help focus the attention on this good looking high school student!
When taking a portrait, zoom in tight on the subject – making them the sole focus of the photo. If you don’t have a zoom lens, move closer to your subject. I LOVE taking close up photos of faces and filling the frame. These are the people we love and you can see so much character in facial photos... Here are some ideas to help you "fill the frame".
Even Pet portraits should follow these guidelines so the images come out beautifully!
I zoomed in on the dog's face and focused on the eyes
As always, if you ever want to talk shop, I'd love to chat!! Call me at 770-722-9045 or email me at [email protected].
Thank you for stopping by my blog, I would love it if you left a comment and let me know you were here! You can see more of my family work by clicking on my Family Portfolio. Are you looking for a Atlanta GA Photographer? Brookhaven, Chamblee, Roswell or Sandy Springs? I would love to meet your family and capture your memories. To book a session, contact me via e-mail at [email protected], or call me at 770-722-9045. I look forward to meeting you!
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