The portrait photography profession has been a lasting presence since photographs were exposed on glass plates. And since then, technology has advanced to the point where we can digitally capture images and store them on devices that can fit in our hands. But there are many challenges and obstacles involved in obtaining properly made images that show your subjects in their ‘’best light’’. Here are some tips for proper outdoors and indoors portraits.
The outdoors are great, and there’s nothing better than a portrait on a sunny day, but the lovely weather does present its own set of difficulties. Bright days make harsh shadows that produce too much contrast and the entire portrait loses important details to hotspots and shadows. There is little control over the light and the way it effects the subjects face and body.
A cloudy day is a much better option. It sounds unappealing, of course, but cloudy day offer many more advantages. For one thing, cloud coverage affords photographers a soft consistent light much like that of a studio softbox with detailed shadows and highlights that will be sure flatter your subjects. Let’s not forget that clouds add drama and make your photos interesting from top to bottom.
But if you’re your schedule doesn’t allow for waiting for clouds, here’s a few simple tips for shooting on a bright sunny day. First of all, don’t be afraid to use your flash as a fill-in; it’ll ‘’fill’’ the shadows that would usually cast unflattering on your subjects. Shoot in the open shade. If you don’t want shadows, move your subjects under a tree or in a building shadow. Pro Studio sells a variety of light reflectors that can direct the light into certain areas while in the shade or as important, be used to create a shadow practically anywhere the sun is hitting your subject.
Indoor Portrait photography, much like photography itself, has been around for over a century. So here are five easy tips for shooting indoors. First, shoot in their home. If a client commissions you to shoot a portrait, the clients will be more comfortable in their own surroundings. Second, find the room with a big window. Window light is one of the best sources because it acts as an auxiliary light source. Third, control your light sources. When you mix natural and artificial lights, white balancing becomes impossible, so your best bet would be to stick to one. Fourth, keep your backgrounds simple. A portrait is the center of the subject; complicated backgrounds are distracting. Pro Studio carries a nice variety of collapsible backdrops for use on location. They come in a variety of useful colors, the Twistflex are double sided and are easily transported and stored. But always keep it simple. And finally, explore! It’s imperative of all creative professionals to explore the world around them for opportunities. Check out your surroundings and seize the opportunities.
Portraits are formal acknowledgements of a subject’s existence; a way of saying “I was here”. It depends on both the subject and photographer to shape the portrait to their collaborative will. And with that comes difficulties from the environment and other factors. So be prepared.