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The Secrets of Portrait Photography

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The Secrets of Portrait Photography

A common question often arises: how can we make the model in the picture look really good and attractive? The art of photography holds a lot of secrets! And it’s not just about technical issues. For example, do you know how to dress in order to look great in the picture? And what kind of makeup creates a great-looking portrait? What type of lighting is preferable to use? Luminar Neo is a photo editor which is one of the best for post-processing. Try it today and make your photo masterpieces!

Getting Ready for the Shoot: Clothing and Makeup

When you choose clothing before taking photos, remember the most important thing: don’t let the outfit distract the viewer’s attention! If your costume is bright, garish, or extravagant, the photo will turn from a portrait into a picture from a fashion magazine or a catalog of an online store. The viewer won’t pay attention to you but will consider only your clothes. That’s why an outfit with a bright and large pattern is the least suitable.

Избирательный фокус женщины в черных топах с квадратным вырезом

Makeup is also very important for a photo portrait. To make your face look perfect in the photo, it would be good to consult an expert in this field. Here are some tips that can help you:

  • The most important thing in makeup for a photo portrait is the model’s eyes. In any situation, in any light, the makeup will look a little weaker than it was in reality. That’s why you should make your eyelashes a little bit thicker than you usually do. The eye contour can be emphasized with a pencil. But do not forget to shade it a bit.
  • In the makeup for the photo, there is no way to do without powder. It is good if it has a matte effect, so it can help to avoid the problem of shiny skin.
  • Give preference to matte lipstick. And preferably it should be a light shade. If you want to make a look more alluring in the photo, makeup artists recommend applying a little gloss to the middle of the lower lip.

The Camera Technique

Any camera is good for taking portraits. The advantage of a DSLR camera is interchangeable optics, which allows you to vary the modes of photography, the ability to shoot in manual mode, which means that you have many opportunities to solve your artistic tasks, and the ability to shoot in difficult conditions.

For DSLR cameras, it is recommended to use lenses with a focal length of 50-80mm. With a focus distance of less than 50 cm, you will get distorted proportions of the model.

To equalize brightness in the frame and highlight shadows, you sometimes need to apply a flash or reflector.

женщина, стоящая рядом с розовой стеной и почесывая голову

Light

To prevent the face in the picture from looking flat, it is better to use light coming in from the front and from the sides (front-diagonal lighting). Good results can also be achieved with side lighting, but it is better to use a reflector (which can be a white wall at home, for example) or an external flash. Outdoors is the best shot in the morning or early evening. If you take your pictures at noon, when the sun is in its highest setting, the overhead light will give deep shadows and a very sharp contrast.

With backlighting, you can get a silhouette if you shoot for example in the evening. If you want to illuminate the face, a reflector or an external flash is also needed. Frontal lighting will make the face look flat and should be avoided.

At home, it’s best to shoot with light from a window. Transparent curtains will help make it diffuse and softer.

Working With a Model

Very often we see tense faces and strained smiling people in pictures. A good portrait photographer should be able to reveal a person’s inner world, and this is only possible when the model is relaxed and naturally at ease.

It is best to start shooting with a casual conversation. When the person is relaxed, the shooting can be started.

In the beginning, you can say that you are not shooting yet, but just choosing a shooting point and adjusting your gear, trying out a new lens, in other words, taking test shots. Often you can get the best photos at that time. Interesting frames come out during the breaks, too, when the model is tired, stops “posing” and relaxes. Here again, you can say that while the model is relaxing, you are testing your technique again and choosing an angle for further shooting.

All this, of course, does not apply to professional models who know how to work in front of the camera.

Conclusion

Photography takes practice and requires concentration and persistence to succeed. That’s why it’s good to try taking portraits with someone you know who is willing to be photographed. Learn your camera, and don’t be afraid to experiment! Also, don’t forget about post-processing your shots, this is the step that helps bring them to perfection. If you still don’t know which photo editor to choose, try Luminar Neo. Let your portraits be incredible!

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