Despite many people specialising in a particular style of photography such as fashion, sports, travel etc, there will come a time when photographing people is required. Often photos of people are split into two categories: portrait and candid. Many people find to take the perfect photographs of people, you need lots of experience and further editing knowledge. There are several elements to consider when capturing an image of a individual person or group of people. Online photo sharing site – Clickasnap have offered this handy guide to help you get started with photographing people.
Get Closer to your subjects
If you are out shooting candid images to gain experience in street photography, for example, it can sometimes be quite daunting to point and shoot with your subjects unaware that they are being photographed. Often what will work best for you and them, is to ask if they would be happy to feature in your shoot and make use of their approval by getting closer to them. This way you can highlight smaller details such as a smile or a laugh, even capturing a series of images which depict a conversation between two friends. To begin with, you could experiment with your friends or family members, as you gain confidence approaching people with your camera.
Audiences enjoy seeing realism within images, particularly when it comes to portraits of people. Therefore, you shouldn’t be placing such high expectations on the outcomes of your images. No one person is perfect, so no one portrait will be perfect either. It is now applauded online to highlight the ‘not so perfect’ features of the human face and body – as part of the body confidence movement.
On top of this, if you are new to portrait photography, do not expect your images to turn out great first time. It takes time to build this skill and to develop your own style. If you are happy to give portrait photography a go, do not be dis-heartened if your first images don’t turn out how you thought they would.
For beginners, simplicity is key. Do not try to overcomplicate your portraits. Allow yourself a chance to focus on your subjects by keeping your backgrounds, lighting, props etc. simple. Often plain white backgrounds with gentle lighting will provide a base of which to begin practising your skills as a portrait photographer without the need to worry about anything else which will affect your shot.
Get your angles right
For some of the most flattering shots of people, particularly when working with clients, you should be shooting at their eye level or from above. Most people are typically unhappy with any images where the shot was taken from below. From this angle you could highlight features of the face which most would rather hide from the lens. To get the best angles, work with your subjects, discussing the best positions and acting as a guide for how to sit or stand. Ensuring your subjects are comfortable during the shoots is imperative and will generate best results.
Don’t overedit your images
If editing isn’t your top skill, do not try to run your portrait and candid shots through advanced editing software. Often you can spend hours doing this just to achieve an outcome which takes away from the natural beauty of the image. Simply complete the process with some small image touch ups, like enhancing the lighting and colours (if necessary) and cleaning up blemishes using a basic editing tool. A great way to complete the editing stage and to avoid spending hours going back and forth with different tools, is to ask fellow photographers for their advice. Many online communities allow for conversation and discussion in their forums – which you can utilise for feedback on your work.