Do-It-Yourself Steps to Portrait Photography

Long before digital cameras have come to existence, people have been fascinated by portraits mainly because it captures the essence of a person. Portrait photography has the power of capturing one’s image and depicting that person’s character, at the same time imprinting such images for all to remember. However, people do not realize that ever since cameras have been developed and made available to everyone, they have been secretly becoming a threat to the techniques that professional photographers have studied for years. Learn about portrait photography and you’ll see how amazing this hobby can be!

It doesn’t take a genius to take amazing pictures really. All you need is a little practice, some basic portrait photography practices and these helpful tips to take the greatest photos to die for!

  1. Capture the Character

Capturing one’s character through a photo shot could be considered most challenging. This is simply because it is extremely difficult to identify one’s character by a mere look at an image shot by a camera, most especially when you do not know them very well or haven’t even met them. Engaging in small conversations and getting to know the subject a little bit before shooting might just do the trick.

Magic happens when there is a clear relationship or camaraderie between the photographer and the subject. That is why when you look into the lens, make sure you are able to connect to the subject, sense the subject’s sincerity and smile, the intensity of the scowl or the emptiness of that distant look. If you’re able to that, then you could say you have successfully captured the character of your subject.

  1. Maximize Natural Light

Camera flashes produce red eye, so to avoid this on your photos, try getting the most out of the light that is already available. Position the subject facing against the light so the brightness will illuminate the face. In unavoidable cases wherein there’s no natural light coming in, simply resort to using red eye removal software that could minimize these for you. Most digital cameras today come with a red-eye removal feature.

  1. Focus on Me

The focus of a portrait should always be on the subject and not the background. So make sure that you shoot in plain backgrounds or make the necessary adjustments in the focus of the camera to highlight the subject and lay back the background a little bit. Remember that the subject has to always stand out against the background. Otherwise, the essence of the portrait is forfeited.

  1. Eyes Open

Except when it is called for, like for a dramatic or theatrical effect, the eyes should always be open. A photographer cannot fully capture the image or the character of the subject without seeing the emotions radiate from within. Blinking even just for a second is a photographer’s no-no! So give your subject the due warning or practice first to pre-condition the eyes to the flashes of light. Here are other hints about portrait photography now.

  1. Black is Drama

You think black and white is out? No. It’s still very popular and instantly creates drama and elegance.

  1. Instant cover up

You don’t need to have professional make up artists to do your face before shooting a portrait. Covering or minimizing blemishes are made easy by simple overexposure of the photos. It makes the skin seem luminescent and cures a portrait from its imperfections.

  1. Make your subject move

Try to engage your subjects in a conversation or instruct them to move freely then speed shutter. These will give you very interesting photos which look candid and spontaneous. You can also take advantage of these features when shooting portraits of children.

8. Decide to dress up


Imagine this portrait blown and hung up on the walls of your living room. Would you want your family and friends to look at you in shabby clothing? If you’re going for the elegant look, go for dresses, gowns, suits or tube tops for a topless look. Or if you insist on simplicity, that’s fine. Just make sure you avoid something you don’t like to be caught wearing.

Now, you have the list of must-dos and a total picture of portrait photography.
All you need to do is practice, so start picking up that camera, start shooting and you’ll see yourself improve everyday. Do not hesitate to play with the lighting techniques and do some experimenting on portrait photography. It is truly a worthwhile leisure of art!

Do’s And Don’ts Of Family Portrait Photography

Throughout history, noble families have paid painters to make portraits of their proud lineage. Family portraits remain to be one of the best ways to preserve a family’s heritage. This practice has evolved since and today the digital age of cameras gave birth to more modern family portrait photography techniques which made it easier for members of the families to take their own family photos if they do not want to employ a professional to do it.

Here are some easy to follow do’s and don’ts that could help you record great family memories:

DO: Choose the Photographer

If your family has the luxury of time, you can always schedule an appointment with a professional portrait photographer. All you need to worry about is how you should dress up on the occasion and the photographer will take care of the rest.

You can always do the portraits by yourself. If you have a friend that could hold the camera for you, just take the lead in giving instructions. If you don’t have anyone else that could click the camera, try using the good old timer. Digital cameras can hold up to about 20 second, giving you ample time to pose, prepare and hold the smile.

DON’T: Take Pictures without Make-up On

If you want to take photos up close, tell your family members to at least wash their faces and put a little make up on. Blushers and lip glosses for men will do; eye liners, blushers and lip colors for women. Go for the natural look unless you are wearing formal clothes where you would need full make up on women and the men’s feature highlighted with powder and some foundation and liners. You may also go to professionals to do these for you but the easiest way is to ask Mom to do it.

DO: Plan on What to Wear

There is nothing shabbier than a family portrait that has you looking like a rag doll next to the well dressed Mom and Dad. You don’t want anyone else to stand out. If you decide on wearing formal clothing, make sure that everyone is in formal clothing. The colors have to be coordinated as well. You can either wear the same color or dress in contrast, or monochrome, but please have one specific and recognizable theme in place. This will show unity and harmony in print.

If you go for a less serious portrait, then going crazy on colors is allowed. For instance, if you intend to pose on the beach, just make sure that everybody is dressed in swimwear.

DON’T: Shoot when someone is in a Bad Mood

Professional photo shoots are often scheduled, so make an effort to keep each other happy prior to the photo taking. If you have been planning to take photos by yourself, get everyone in the mood first. Have them laughing naturally so that the innate glow in their faces will show. You don’t want the faces on your family portrait to look glum or uninviting. Even if you were instructed not to smile on a particular photo, especially in formal ones, it doesn’t mean that you are miserable. Any negative vibe could be reflected, so unless you want your family portraits to look like a photo of a wrestling match – make each other happy!

DO: Change the Scenery

Dare to be different. We are no longer in the medieval ages where pictures of families are very stiff and formal unless this is the direction you want to go. Experiment with the poses, kneel, lie down, jump, go high or low, and get wacky! Take pictures on the beach, while driving, bungee jumping, or anything that is out of the ordinary and you’ll be amazed at how original your pictures will turn out!

Truly, Family Portrait Photography is easy and fun. It was turned into a tradition not only to capture the images of the lineage members but also as a bonding moment for the family to be together. And later on in so many years, you probably won’t remember what type of camera the photographer used to take the photo or what car you were driving on the way to the studio, but you will forever remember the faces and laughter you had together as a family while having the family pictures taken!