Portrait photography or portraiture is one of the commonest forms of photography. The focus of portraiture is the face, facial features and facial expressions of an individual or a group of individuals. The person’s body and the background may also be included by the photographer but the face, it’s distinct features and expression are given predominance.
Portrait photography- the basics
According to Rocco Basile, the portrait photography usually involved the subject looking into the lens of the photographer’s camera. This trend is nowadays changing with portrait photographers experimenting with their shots so that they can capture some distinct angles and get a better portrait photograph.
The subjects of portrait photography are non-professional models that’s what makes portrait photography unlike other styles of photography. Also, the lack of rules or guidelines makes portrait photography a simple style of photography, but this absence of rules can make it difficult at the same time. It’s termed an easy photography style since anyone can shoot a portrait but professional portraits require a professional portraiture photographer thereby making it difficult.
Approaches to Portrait photography
- Candid – In this approach, the subject is unaware of being photographed. This approach helps the photographer to capture a particular emotion and it’s considered less invasive.
- Creative – This includes digitally manipulating the portrait that results in a visually appealing, magical and pretty/attractive portrait.
- Constructionist – It involves the creation of a theme or ambiance for the portrait. The subject is aware of the actions of the photographer.
- Environmental – This includes the environment or surrounding of the subject like a portrait of the subject in their workplace.
How to make a portrait stand out?
A portrait photographer strives to make their portrait striking and unique. Rocco Basile, a well known name in the field of various photography styles like portraiture, fine art and wildlife, suggests a few tips to make your portraits striking, beautiful and out of the box.
- Changing the perspective – A simple change in the angle of your shot can make the results interesting. You can shoot down from a high point or shoot up from closer to the ground instead of at or around the eye level of the model.
- The direction of the subjects eyes – You can alter the usual practice of the subject making eye contact by looking down the camera lens. If the subject is asked to focus on something outside the camera field of view, it can introduce a sense of candidness, wonder and intrigue alternatively when a subject looks at something within the frame it creates a secondary point of interest.
- Alter the placement of subject in the portrait
- The experimentation with the lighting helps in creating different effects
- Introduction of a prop or obscuring parts of the subject
- Taking a number of continuous shots
These seemingly minor changes may give the portrait a whole new look and feel. The secret of a unique portrait that’s special is thinking out of the box. This also helps in making you an exceptional portrait photographer.