Per­fect por­traits

Im­prove your por­trai­ture skills by fol­low­ing Dave Kai Piper’s top tips

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO ACTIVE -

Use depth 1

Depth is two things - depth of the sub­ject and depth of field. One is about the char­ac­ter of the im­age, the other is the cam­era set­ting. DoS will en­sure that your sub­ject is suited to the lo­ca­tion, light­ing and styling. DoF will en­sure that your im­age has a fore­ground, a mid­dle ground and a back­ground that show the sub­ject in the way you in­tend.

It’s not a race, but 2 don’t hang about

Let’s face it, who likes be­ing pho­tographed? It can be an in­tru­sive thing to do. Work as quickly as you can, but never rush: take all the time we need, just not a mo­ment longer. Be clear about your needs and once you have the shot, let your sub­ject re­lax and carry on. Re­spect your sub­ject’s time.

Never worry 3 about any­thing

Well, do worry, but do your wor­ry­ing away from your sub­ject, and have a backup plan. If things are not go­ing to plan for what­ever rea­son, you need to act like it’s the best shoot you have ever been on. Keep­ing your sub­ject con­fi­dent that you’re awe­some is key. They need to trust you have ev­ery­thing un­der con­trol.

Keep it sim­ple 4

The best im­ages are sim­ple. We only have to look at masters like Gre­gory Heisler for proof of that. Your sub­ject should be the dom­i­nant fac­tor in the im­age, not the amaz­ing light­ing or the lo­ca­tion. In other words, pro­duc­tion val­ues should not over­shadow your sub­ject. Sub­jects are more im­por­tant than set­tings in any por­trait.

Know your kit 5

Ev­ery sec­ond you are fo­cus­ing on your kit, you are not fo­cus­ing your time and ef­fort on the sub­ject. You need to turn up to a shoot ready to go. Have your set­tings checked be­fore you pack the cam­era. Make sure your bat­tery and mem­ory card are ready and ev­ery­thing is work­ing. Get your lights in place be­fore your sub­jects ar­rive, then tweak them dur­ing the shoot.

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