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