16 Tips for Beautiful Portraits

ifolor Photo Hacks

Beautiful portraits continue to be a popular gift idea for friends and family for a multitude of occasions. It’s not always easy, however, to capture a great photo of someone. Taking a nice portrait depends on a wide array of factors. Here we’ll give you tips on the photo shoot itself as well as what amateur photographers should pay attention to. You can also take a look at our video to see all of our photo hacks.

Find a Good Location

Choose a suitable location for your photo shoot ahead of time. Depending on the overall mood you want your photos to contain, you can search for places such as old castles, fortresses, parks, forests, lakes, or beaches to serve as a backdrop.

Talk to One Another

Everyone has a different idea of what an optimal photo looks like. In order to take into account the wishes of the person being photographed it’s important to communicate with one another.

Wide Angle with Smartphone Cameras

Smartphones normally come equipped with a wide-angle lens. Therefore, it’s a good idea to put a little more distance between yourself and the person you’re photographing in order to avoid unsightly distortions.

Photograph with a Focal Length of 50 mm or More

A focal length lower than 50 mm is not recommended for portrait photography since the face of the person being photographed will seem unflattering and distorted. It’s best to use a focal length between 50 and 200 mm in order to take suitable close-ups.

A Fun Photo Shoot

Loosen up the situation, put everyone in a good mood, and just have fun. This will make the person being photographed feel less tense and will also allow you to capture their natural smile at just the right moment.

Give Clear Instructions

Give the person you’re photographing comprehensible instructions and suggestions in order to avoid misunderstandings and to optimally put to use the time you’ve set out for your photo shoot.

Photograph Their Good Side

Many people have a “good side” when taking pictures. Photograph them from favourable perspectives to end up with optimal results. This will ensure both you and the person you’re photographing are happy with the overall outcome.

At Eye-Level

To be understood both literally and metaphorically: it’s recommended to stay at eye-level with the person you’re photographing. This will make both of you feel more comfortable and this will also be evident when looking at the photographs. Position your camera at eye-level and the photos will appear more natural to the viewer.

Look at the Photos Together

It’s also a good idea to show the person you’re photographing the photos you’ve recently shot from time to time. This will create a mutual trust between the two of you. Furthermore, they can see their own body posture, facial expression, as well as their line of sight and can make adjustments accordingly.

Avoid the Midday Sun

Rays from the midday sun can sometimes cast heavy shadows on people’s faces. Therefore, it’s best to avoid taking photos at midday (unless you want to stylistically employ the lighting conditions) and shoot rather during the (late) afternoon since the light during this time of day appears softer due to the sun’s horizontal position.

Use a Reflector

A reflector makes a difference. Always. They’re not too expensive, easy to take with you, and they’re completely simple to use. You only need someone to hold it while you’re photographing (worst case scenario just ask someone walking by). Utilising a reflector will allow you to make use of existing ambient light and illuminate the person’s face all while alleviating strong shadows. This will make the photo appear more dynamic and a bit more professional.

Full-Body Portrait with a High Depth of Field

To make your portrait shots a bit more varied, you could take some full-body portraits. Use a high depth of field and play around with the camera position.

Backlight Pictures

Photograph against the light, whether in the sun or artificial light, and break away from the archaic rules of photography to create a portrait with a special look.

Use the Right Shutter Priority

The shutter priority is a crucial setting option. Depending on where you’re shooting, spot metering will be much more suitable than average metering.

Focus on the Eyes

Focus in on the eyes of the person you’re photographing to create expressive photos. This is true to the motto “the eyes are the mirror of the soul.” Also, the eyes of your counterpart are the first natural reference points, which also holds true for portraits.

Take Breaks

Take a break from time to time to enable both of you to relax a bit and “recharge your batteries.” You can also use this time to discuss other possibilities for your photo shoot.

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