Taking Better Portrait Photos

Taking Better Portrait Photos

Portrait photography is unique compared to other types of photography. Portrait photography focuses solely on the person and not on the surrounding landscape. Capturing good portraits is difficult to do but it is a skill that you can improve on. Here are some tips for taking better portrait photos.

1. Play around with the perspective. Textbooks will tell you to take pictures at eye level, while that is not bad advice but don’t be afraid to do some experimenting. Challenge yourself to find a different way to take portraits.

2. Make eye contact. You can take portraits with the subject facing the camera or looking away into the distance. There is no right or wrong way play with both until you get the best shot.

3. Pay attention to the frame. The composition is an integral part of taking a good portrait, make sure that the objects in the photo are well framed.

4. Understand composition. Take the time to understand the rule of thirds when it comes to photography. Learn how to play with it when you are taking portrait photos. If you move the subject to one side or the other it can change the whole picture.

5. Play around with light. There are no rules when it comes to lighting other than don’t make the photos too light or too dark. Light and shadow can make dramatic differences in your picture.

6. Don’t pose. Instead of the typical poses have your model move around. You can get a far more natural shot and takes far better pictures.

7. Use props. Props can be absolutely anything and can make better pictures. Newborn photography makes great use of props and the pictures are stunning.

8. Change your focus. Here is an example of how that can work, you have a model with a shoulder tattoo, instead of focusing on their neck and shoulder make the tattoo part of the shot.

9. Use different themes. Change the backgrounds, don’t just rely on white backgrounds to take good portraits. Go outside, move into a different room and have your model move around.

10. Get creative. Photography is art and art is about letting your creativity run loose. There is no wrong way to do portraits, just experiment and see what kind of pictures you can take.

Take as many pictures as you can without worrying if they are good or bad, practice makes perfect after all.

Is Photography an Art of a Science

Is Photography an Art or Science?

An age old question is whether or not photography is an art or a science.  You can get different answers from different people but there is a case to be made that it is a little bit of both.  Let us look at the art versus science debate when it comes to photography and see where you stand.

Photography is Art

There are lots of people who believe that photography, including modern digital photography is a beautiful way to express emotion and it is a form of art all by itself.  It represents the evolution of not only of photography but of drawing and painting as well.  While the image represents an accurate snapshot of reality it is also like painting in that the image is modified with digital tools to suit the artist.

A picture doesn’t have to be altered to be considered art there is still the artist behind the camera who finds beauty in a subject and turns it into a memorable photograph.  The critics who fall on the “art” side generally agree that because it conveys emotion by using different subjects then it is an art form.

Photography as a Science

The other side of the art versus science debate holds that photography is a science because the artists don’t actually create anything all they do is document something that is already in existence.  Much like someone who records the minutes of a meeting.  While that claim does hold some truth it doesn’t quite capture the essence of photography.

Another reason that some refer to photography as a science is for a couple of reasons.  First is the science behind a camera and the steps that are taken to both take and edit a picture.  There are grounds to refer to photography as a science.

The Paradox of Photography

Photography is far too creative an art to just be a product of science and there may never be a consensus on its nature.  Whether you want to call it art or science really has no bearing on the joy and frustration of the photographer.  Will you appreciate your pictures any less if someone refers to them as a science project?  Modern photography is beautiful and has the ability to evoke all kinds of emotion based on the skill and creativity of the photographer.  Don’t get too caught up in the idea of labels and just appreciate the beauty of a well taken picture.