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Portrait Photography tips for Beginners
71. KISS your model
Okay, that was just a catchy title to get you to read this tip. What I mean is to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Fumbling around with softboxes and backdrops won t improve the photo all the time. Sometimes it s best just to sit down with a camera, a lens, and the subject being themselves.
72. Get to know your subject
This tip is often overlooked by photographers who frankly don t have the skill yet to take a portrait that reflects the person s personality, but it is absolutely vital. I recently shot my brother in law s engagement photos. Since I know he is more of a traditional person, I already knew what type of shot he would and would not like. Take the time.
73. Long noses should look straight at the camera
To minimize the distracting look of a long nose, shoot the model head on and with the chin slightly up. This helps to mask the flaw so the viewer can see the person without distraction.
74. Know your gear by heart
The expression of a person can change rapidly from one instant to the next. Knowing how to change your camera settings without even looking can improve the number of times you re able to capture the moment.
75. Try not to show the flat portion of the hand
Hands can look distracting and unnaturally large in a photo of it is turned 90 degrees to the camera. It s best to have the hand curved away slightly from the camera.
76. Choose your poses before the shoot
Making a shoot list and possibly printing off some examples can help you to keep the energy of a shoot moving. Like the picture of the model dancing on the left, you ll never get the great and creative poses that you want until you work for it. Sit down and spend some time thinking of creative poses, and when you get out to shoot portrait photography, don t be afraid to try some new things.
77. Use a polarizer to minimize reflections on glasses
Nothing is worse than coming home from a shoot of someone who wears glasses only to realize that there was glare on the glasses for the whole shoot. Just put on a polarizer and the problem is largely solved!
78. Learn to use the golden mean rather than the rule of thirds
The difference between the golden mean and the rule of thirds is only slight, but I find that the photos often look much more natural when I place the subject s eye slightly more toward center than the rule of thirds.
79. Don t be a DSLR snob
I know you can get a better picture with your DSLR than your cell or your point and shoot, but don t miss the opportunity to catch a great expression or a great moment just because you don t have your DSLR with you. Shoot it with whatever you have.
80. Make a list and check it twice
Even if you ve packed your gear a thousand times,create a pre shoot check list just like airline pilots use and use it every time. Empty your shooting bag or vest and put everything back in its proper place. Check the Batteries, Re format your cards, test fire every camera and lens combo to make sure you are ready for anything that comes your way.
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