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5 Quick Techniques For Awesome Portrait Photos

Portraits? Come on… Well, but aren’t those the only photographs where the subject can talk back to you? Yes, portraits have the potential to get you the maximum reaction and promotion. And portraits are one of the most common types of photography — you don’t need to look for a nice subject with sunlight, greenery and waterfalls etc. Done well, the subject would promote you for free. So here are 5 simple techniques to add flair to your portraits:

  1. Play With Eye Contact

    The eye is the liveliest and the most expressive part of the human body. As the popular quote says, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul”, it is one of the best practice to focus on eyes for portrait session. Go for a close-up and try catchlights to add interest. Retouch and sharpen the eyelashes a bit and you are in for some wonderful finishes.

    Ask your subject to look into the camera and don’t shy away from photographing the eyes leading out of the frame. The way you focus on the eyes and play with eye contact changes the mood and feel of an image. For instance, direct eye contact silently speaks volumes about the subject’s mood whereas eye contact between the subjects portrays the level of intimacy and adds “love in is the air” feel; especially when a wedding couple is photographed.

    Beautiful eyes

  2. Reflections And Reflectors

    Add drama to your shots by introducing abstract elements like reflections and shadows. Well not just the reflections in water! Utilize the reflective surfaces or shoot mirror images. Just hold the reflecting surface close enough to the subject so that it doesn’t actually become a part of the picture. You can also try some reflectors to lighten up the shadows or use a golden reflector and silver dish for some glamor effects.

  3. Try A Flash Diffuser

    It’s just a plastic cap that you place over the flash and get going with some beautiful diffused and soft light. The direct flash on the camera without a diffuser looks a tad unflattering otherwise. A flash diffuser allows you to eliminate harsh light and shadows to thus evenly illuminate the scene for a natural look. You can find one here or simply go in for DIY homemade soft flash diffuser.

  4. Multiple Exposure

    This is more of an exception than a rule. But sometimes experimenting with effects like multiple exposure can land you some moody shots with added interest. Turn on the multiple exposure and set the number of shots required to create the desired effect. These special effects enhances the subject or the scene and renders dreamy & nostalgic air to it. Get creative at it!

    Create atmosphere with multiple exposure

  5. Try Post-processing

    Just fire up Lightroom, play around with vibrance, saturation, vignetting, split toning, etc or simply try a preset. Use any of your favorite photo editor to add some amazing image-effects. From one touch effects like sepia and black & whites to the 300 effect, anything is possible. And guess what, these attract more interest than the plainly retouched portraits.

How do you add uniqueness to your portraits?

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2 comments… add one
  • Andre May 10, 2012 @ 3:39

    One of the the ways I like to add uniqueness to some of my portraits is to use unusual backgrounds – preferably ones with a unique texture, color, patterns, etc.

    Unusual backgrounds have the ability to make the subject of your photograph really stand out as well as adding to the depth and meaning of the photo itself. Take for example a photograph of a young girl against an old and crumbling wall. The immense contrast between the two changes the nature of the portrait and adds a dimension that can give it a memorable impact.

  • Shivanand Sharma May 10, 2012 @ 8:26

    Great tip Andre! I’ve noticed that too. A unique background in addition to other effects also heightens the “interestingness” of a portrait.

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