Portrait photography is a pretty tricky genre to work in due to so many factors and peculiarities, many of which are social. Let alone finding the right camera settings and purchasing proper equipment, you will also need to collaborate with real people outdoors or at a certain event. And they—a really social bunch—always tend to move, talk, make faces, and dislike how they look on photos.
We have prepared six most commons mistakes that you need to avoid to shoot quality, natural, and candid portraits that people will simply love.
Not focusing on the eyes
The eyes are the window to our soul and that's where people look first when they see a portrait photo. Make sure that they are always in focus as this is the first and the most important rule in portrait photography. Use shallow depth of field and make one part of the photo, the eyes, sharper than the rest of the picture to attract the viewer's attention.
However, this doesn't mean that all your photos must be eye-centered. Play with the perspective and create really unusual shots but always get focused on the eyes.
Choosing the wrong poses
You will need to actually show people you shoot where they need to stand and what they need to do in order to get good results. And we really mean it. Stand where they should stand and put their arms where they should be. That will help you both make a good picture and gain confidence. Become a role model, it's fun!
Shooting in the wrong light
The right light is the key to constantly making quality nice-looking outdoor portraits. Try to avoid direct bright sunlight and darkness and always look for diffused light. Some photographers even carry a reflector or softbox to manage to control the illumination and get better shots.
Using the wrong equipment
It's advisable to use longer lenses for making portrait photos and avoid shooting with wide lenses as they may visually distort the picture and make a certain part of the subject's face look too big and out-of-place. Longer lenses, something in between 70 and 135mm, allow you making the photo look well-proportioned. Use a tripod if you need it.
Not staying engaged
Loads of people feel too shy and uncomfortable with how they look for no apparent reason. That's why they often say that they're not photogenic and that's why you, as a photographer who works with them, will need to stay engaged and demonstrate your best people skills and professionalism.
Talk to them with a smile, show them how to be a good model, and tell them the truth: that they are beautiful and look really good. The result and their emotions will speak for themselves.
Not being creative
Always think through every shot you make, both on-the-go and during the post processing, to make it look better and spark the client's interest. Focus only on one part of the subject's body, make angled shots, leave something out of focus, play with the facial expressions, or go against the composition rules.
Keep on trying and with time you will know what exactly your client wants at the first sight.
Feel inspired? Apply these awesome techniques to shoot distinctive photos that people will love, use our platform to sell them, and earn at least 70% of the photo value. Become a KeepSnap independent photographer and go out today to snap people around you and earn a living. It's completely free for photographers.