Holiday time kicks off portrait season for many photographers. Shorter, colder days change imaging focus from outdoor activities to indoor fun. Here are three short tips that can quickly improve your people pictures.
Holiday Portrait Tip: When preparing for a family portrait, consider your clothing choices, as they will make a big impact on your final result. For example, have all family members wear a similarly colored shirt such as white or pale blue. Stay away from busy patterns; one exception, though, is a beautiful scarf or hat that can add texture to the image. A few minutes of coordination can turn a so-so family photo into a fantastic family portrait!
Indoor Portrait Tip: Shooting indoors often means the addition of flash as many homes don’t have enough available light to properly brighten the subject, especially when darkness falls. If you need to brighten your subject but worry about the harshness a direct flash can create, consider tilting the flash so that it ‘bounces’ off the upper portion of a wall or the ceiling. It will create a more diffused effect and provide softer lighting as a result. This particular technique is often used by professional photographers in a variety of situations such as wedding receptions with low-light challenges, and the end result is often far more attractive than using straight-on flash. Try it this holiday season and let us know how it worked for you!
Conquer this Common Shooting Mistake: One of the most common mistakes beginning and even more skilled shooters make is not filling the frame. Too often, we try to fit too much into a particular photograph, which leaves an image cluttered and the eye wandering among numerous subjects. Instead, zoom in closer than you normally would and choose one particular subject or interaction.
This technique add intimacy to an image, drawing the viewer in, and also allows a primary theme or sentiment to be front and center. As one of our favorite photo instructs says it “When you think you have framed the picture you like, take another step closer.”
Take a look at the child’s picture at the top of this entry. The framing is tight even though parts of the hat are cut off. This composition draws attention to the subject – the child’s face. This image illustrates the value of getting in close.