A professional is someone who takes pride in his or her work. Someone you can rely on to always do his or her best. This applies to photography too of course. However, an amateur can also apply these principles to his work. The difference between an amateur and a professional with regard to portrait photography could just be one of fees or fees and thought.

Portrait Photography

Do you just take snaps of your friends and family or do you try to take good portrait photos of them? There are many different types of photography, naturally, but in this piece we will be talking more or less exclusively about portrait photography. In order to take great portrait photographs, one has to apply some sort of technique and talent.

Keen observation is the prerequisite to good portrait photography. Very few people’s faces are even – in fact a face that is completely in proportion is one of the things that distinguishes a handsome man or a beautiful woman from the crowd. Therefore, people do have a better and a worse side and the photographer has to decide which is which and how best to even them out by shooting from the best angle.

Features to look out for are one ear larger or lower than the other; a crooked nose or an uneven mouth. A full-on photograph would only accentuate the unevenness of the face, which is why top models like this type of photograph but also why most people do not. A good portrait photographer can mask this unevenness, by showing our better side in the best light.

Lighting is one of the tools that a portrait photographer uses to mask imperfections. He can use artificial light in a studio or natural lighting outside to create shadows on the face or to eliminate them if that makes for a better photograph. Good portrait photography using natural outdoor sunlight requires more skill than using artificial lighting in a studio.

Background lighting in a basic lighting plan incorporating additional lights to the side of the subject can use three main lights. The key light is usually behind the subject.. These technical issues will depend on the equipment you have to hand.

Another important tool is the background to the portrait. The background can be interesting or plain. It is not a coincidence that passport photos must have a clinical white background or backdrop so as not to distract from the sitters portrait. However, when the portrait photograph is for personal use the background can be chosen to compliment the colouring and clothing of the subject.

The background will also have an influence on the lighting. A light background will reflect light back onto the subject, whereas a dark background make be too much of a contrast to some sitters. This is again where the talent and expertise of the portrait photographer is very important.

At one time, you could add the type of film and the type of cameral to these variables, but since the dominance of the digital camera, this is less of an issue, if you use a good digital camera, you will have every opportunity you reasonably need to be able to take great portrait photographs of your friends and family. The best of these can be transferred to high-quality paper then as required to create a framed picture.