9 Essential Portrait Photography Techniques

portrait photography techniques

Portrait photography techniques are one of the important information for you to understand because since it was first created in 1839, this technique is still used today. To create a good portrait photo, there are several tips that you can use. But if you really understand how to operate the camera properly, then the portrait photos you make will not disappoint. So, what are some portrait photography techniques that can be put into practice right away?


Portrait Photography Techniques

You can use different types of cameras to take portrait photos. From mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, to instant cameras. But to be able to get maximum results, then you make settings on the ISO to the aperture. Apart from that, there are several techniques that can be used as well.


1. Utilize Natural Light

When you want to take portrait photos, you should get natural lighting. This technique is a bit difficult because not all places can get good natural lighting. However, by using more natural and soft lighting, the photos will be maximized because there are no dark shadows or unnatural skin colors.


2. Use a Longer Lens

You can’t go wrong with choosing a camera lens either. If you want to get a different effect, you should not use a 50mm lens. We recommend using a lens of 85 mm to 200mm range, so that it can produce better images without pixel distortion. The longer focal length makes the bokeh effect (background blur) even better.


3. Choose a Different Style

What does it mean to choose a different style? Try taking photos from different angles. Then pay attention to the distance between the object and the camera. You can try to take an aerial view point or from the side. Taking candid photos also brings a different feeling because the results are definitely different compared to preparing the style first.


4. Use the Depth of Field Technique

If you have not realized it, taking a picture of somebody is different than taking other kind of picture. Therefore, you need to adjust you camera settings so you can capture a sharp portraits.

Generally speaking, when capturing someone’s portrait, you want their face as the focus point of the photograph. Therefore, you should consider using a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field. With a shallow depth of field, the camera will have sharp focus on the person rather than objects surrounding them.


5. Choose Your Focus

One of the problem in doing portrait photography that you will encounter is sometimes the result is not focused. After taking one photograph, you eyes might be wandering from one place to another; from the subject’s hair , nose, and back to the hair. If you ever felt like this, then this is a sign that your photograph lacks focus.

Generally, when taking someone’s portrait, you want to focus on the subject’s eyes. Why? Because most of the times, the subject’s eyes can tell million stories. We also naturally build connection through eye contact. Therefore, focusing on the subject’s eye can serve as a way to tell a story in portrait photography.


6. Exposure Compensation

One of the most important portrait photography tips is that you should not automate your camera settings. While the feature is convenient, automating your camera settings can lead to poor result due to lack of light, especially if you are shooting portraits with a dark background.

To compromise the usage of dark background, you can manually adjust the exposure of your camera. If you use backlighting or other artificial light source, adjusting the exposure of your camera is even more important. By doing so, you can avoid one of the most common mistake of portrait photography that cause subject’s face to be underexposed do to the bright lighting.

7. Adjust Your ISO

ISO is an element of your camera’s exposure settings. ISO is the sensitivity level of your camera’s sensor that can affect how bright and dark your photograph will be: lower ISO means that your camera’s sensor is less sensitive while higher ISO means more sensitive. With a dark background, you do want to use higher ISO to achieve sharp portraits.

8. Use Fast Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is the next element of your camera’s exposure. This element is fairly simple: shutter speed decides how long your camera’s shutter will keep open to receive light. Although relatively simple, the effect of adjusting your camera’s shutter speed is huge: it can change the brightness of the image and create freezing or blur motion.

In portrait photography, it is generally accepted that you want a faster shutter speed. Fast shutter speed can also help you if you have issue with camera-shake.

However, it depends on the effect and result that you want to achieve. To become a great portrait photographer, Do not shy away from experimenting with shutter speed when shooting portraits. You will never now what you will find.


9. Finish with Editing

In the end, after taking a portrait, you need to retouch it with editing software to get the most suitable final result. You can crop, minimize shadows, and play grading in photos. Whichever way you did before, doing photo editing is the last technique that is not forgotten.

So those are the tips for portrait photography techniques that you can practice easily without the need for other tools. For business photo editing, not everyone is an expert in doing it. If you really need professional photo editing support, don’t hesitate to contact Dropicts, which has a Product Image Editing Services that supports various businesses to get the best photo results. Visit Dropicts for more information.

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