Taking photos of your family, friends and even yourself seems so easy with a cell phone. But posing your people so they look better, is something I’d like to show you today. Take great portraits now with your cell phone.
ALTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE:
Most portraits that are taken of people are usually on the same eye level as the photographer. Try something new and get a different perspective of the person.
For instance, you can get up high and shoot down on your subject from above (like above photo).
Another great angle for portrait photography:
Get down low and shoot up. You’ll make your subject appear strong and powerful (and you’ll make the viewer feel small):
Obviously, different angles are more appropriate for certain image types; business executives will appreciate the power of a low-angle portrait, but they probably won’t want to be shot lying in the grass. So pay careful attention to your subject and surroundings, then pick angles that complement the scene.
LOOKING OFF CAMERA:
Ask your subject to focus on something outside the frame (a tree off to the left, a house off to the right, etc.). This can create a feeling of candidness, plus it can create a little intrigue and interest; the viewer of the shot will wonder what the subject is looking at, which will cause them to engage further with the image.
LOOKING WITHIN THE FRAME:
You might also ask your subject to look at something within the frame. A child looking at a ball, a woman looking at her new baby, or a man looking hungrily at a big plate of pasta; it can all work!
See, this technique creates a second point of interest, as well as a relationship between your subject and another key element in the scene, which in turn helps create a story. (And in photography, stories are pretty much always a good thing!)
Here, the mother is looking at her child, which highlights their relationship and emphasizes their emotional connection:
EXPERIMENT WITH LIGHTING:
In portrait photography, lighting is key, and there are literally thousands of blog posts and video courses devoted to portrait lighting.
As for lighting direction: Front light is best avoided, because it tends to produce very flat, bland images. Instead, for good portraits, I’d recommend sidelight, which will add three dimensionality and create mood. I’d also recommend backlighting, which can create plenty of mystery.
Below is a fully sidelit subject. Notice the drama?
Having your subject do something different, or just don’t pay attention to the photographer. These candid photos are often the most well loved by those relatives and friends.
Have them do something fun, or have them relax while taking their photo, and snap some pictures that will catch them off-guard.
It is especially easy to do candid photos with children.
COVER THE SUBJECT PARTIALLY
For instance, you can cover the face with clothes or hair, or you can use hats or scarves to cover the head. Usually, it’s a good idea to leave some recognizable features exposed.
But if you want to make things really interesting, you might cover your subject completely (e.g., you could wrap the subject’s entire face in their hair!).
This is just a few ideas of how to make your portraits more intriguing, more exciting, and more beautiful even.
If you have any portraits that you have taken that you find unique and would like to share, send these photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org