Are you trying to find some useful tips and techniques that can help you to improve your portrait photography skills? If so, this guide is going to share several important tricks and secrets you need to know about – so with this in mind, let’s explore further.
Tip 1: Understand your shutter speeds
One of the first things you need to understand when it comes to taking a quality photographic portrait is the setting of your shutter speeds. In general, you want to ensure your shutter speed is higher than your overall focal length – although you can usually use a slower shutter speed if you’re using a wide-angle lens.
Making mistakes is common here, but with some experimentation and consistent practice, you’ll soon find that adjusting your shutter speed will make a big difference to the overall quality of your portrait photography.
Tip 2: Boost your ISO
There’s no denying that no matter how still you ask someone to be, they will naturally move and change their facial expression, and virtually everybody has made the mistake of catching a half blinking person or perhaps a peculiar smile which isn’t flattering at all.
Of course, the solution to this is using a fast shutter speed, which will allow you to capture the true image as you took it, as well as account for the motion blur that can occur when somebody is moving.
The easiest way to adjust this is to increase your ISO setting, especially if you are shooting a portrait in poor lighting conditions. Again, this is another area worth experimenting with, and you will make quick gains in your overall skill once you learn how to best match your settings to your subject.
Tip 3: Try a reflector
Perhaps one of the quickest and easiest tips we can share with you is the benefit of using a reflector. This will quickly brighten up your shot and give your portrait a far more professional touch.
In most cases, it’s best to use a reflector near a window or outdoors – so there is plenty of light available to reflect back towards your subject and fill in those pesky shadows that could be hampering your shots.
It’s also good to experiment with the different colors of reflectors available, with white, gold, and silver being the most popular choices. If you are looking for sheer brightness, then using white is good, but if you’re looking for a warmer glow, then using a gold reflector is a better choice.
Tip 4: Experiment with your flash
Using a flash is an excellent way to get creative with your portrait shots, and there’s no end to the possibilities available to you once you are familiar with interesting flash use and alternative lighting setups. Perhaps you would like to experiment with lighting subjects from the side or from underneath to create an interesting or moody backdrop to your image.
It’s also worth experimenting with wireless flash triggers, which allow you to carefully control the lighting, and use bursts of light to open up the depth of field and create a fantastic portrait shot.