There are essential principles that should always be considered, regardless of the task, the model, or the location, and these approaches are the same for any craft. Even hard-working professionals are prone to ignoring standard protocols sometimes, which is why they periodically have a need to be reminded of them.
A few months ago, I was browsing YouTube when I came on the channel of Ed Gregory. Gregory’s channel is packed to the gills with incredible lessons on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from Adobe software to cinematic color grading, that is appropriate for both amateurs and professionals. Specifically, watching this movie on the day of a shoot, when I was having problems getting motivated, was an inspiration to me.
It jogged my memory of several fundamental ideas that are essential to effectively capture a stunning photograph, and it motivated me to experiment with something new during my own photo session later that afternoon. In this in-depth instructional that was filmed on location in the Bahamas, Gregory offers eleven helpful suggestions for making the most out of the next photo session you participate in. Here is a quick summary of the event.
When selecting a place for your picture, you should make sure that the model is not exposed to direct sunlight and should, ideally, be in an area that is either openly or closely shaded. In addition, when taking a headshot, you should try to avoid shooting into an intricate backdrop. Instead, choose one that is uncomplicated and has minimal interruptions so that you can concentrate on the topic at hand.
Consider the nature of the light that is falling on the model you are using. Does the bright light of midday seem like it would be excellent for shooting? Almost certainly not. Instead, position them such that light may gently enter the room from a door or window. This will result in more equal illumination and less harsh shadows across the area. If you feel it’s required, you might make use of a reflector to fill up regions that have a tendency to cast shadows.
When taking headshots of people, you should strive to position your lens so that it is at the same level as the subject’s eyes. When compared to shooting from a lower elevation, which gives the impression of valor, shooting from a higher elevation gives the impression of innocence. These effects could be beneficial if you’re going for a more commercial look, in which case you should think about the end result before proceeding and acting appropriately.
Take photos with a wide aperture, but stay away from apertures wider than f/2.8, especially when shooting headshots. In his illustration, Gregory utilizes an 85mm lens set at f/3.2 in order to maintain the sharpness of the eyes, which gets me to his subsequent point.
Pay Attention to Your Eyes
Make certain that the eyes of your subject are the point of focus in your photograph. The photograph is a failure if the eyes are blurry or out of focus. Period. If the model is situated at an angle to the camera, the eye that is closest to the camera should be the focal point of the photograph since it will be the first thing that viewers notice.
Cropping Is OK
This idea may go against the views of some people, but in practical terms, this piece of advice may save you a lot of work throughout the editing process. Try to avoid taking pictures that have the precise frame around your subject that you are going for in the end.
Even though there is a minor reduction in quality when cropping an image, the vast majority of digital cameras available in today’s world have more than enough pixels to accommodate a small amount of cropping. By leaving room around your frame, you may assure that nothing important, like a shoulder or the top of a head, will be mistakenly cut out of the image.
Communication Is the Crucial Factor
Photos that have awkward silence tend to turn out poorly. Establish a relationship with your subject by asking them about their day, making them laugh, or doing anything else that will keep them involved and interested in what you have to say. And smile. It has been demonstrated that a grin can spread from one person to another, and if you radiate pleasure on set, your model will feel the same way.
Posing and showing one’s emotions
Try not to just keep firing away continually while maintaining the same position. Request that your model faces the camera while turning to face one of the sides of the room. Move them into a more direct posture. In most cases, following a sufficient number of attempts, kids will start to feel comfortable and be able to handle this procedure on their own. Be sure to provide careful attention to their posture, and instruct them to open their shoulders so that they have a more natural appearance.
The Art of Dressing and Styling
One of the most prevalent components of portraiture that is left up to chance is the subject’s facial expression. The model will just turn up on the day of the event wearing whatever they have chosen to wear. Wrong. Determine the purpose of the model’s photo request and how the resulting images will be utilized.
Make sure you have a few different outfits planned out, and if at all feasible, bring a cosmetics professional to the set with you. This is one piece of advice that will undoubtedly differentiate your photographs from those of others and demonstrate your professionalism to your customers.
Fix Any Issues
Remember, just because you can fire off a hundred bullets in five minutes does not mean that you should. Take your time. Look for items of clothes that are wrinkled or hair that is not in its proper position. Be sure that your model is not perspiring or appearing to be overly shiny.
If there is anything that you are justifying as a change that should be made in post, you should immediately stop and make the change. It will save you a significant amount of time as well as a lot of headaches in the future.
Always Go For the Attempt
First and foremost, make sure that you come prepared to get each and every shot that you require. Create a shot list, go to the location ahead of time to scout the area and get acclimated to the topography, check your gear the night before, and get there early.
It is extremely important to be prepared, as this will not only put you at ease, but it will also be obvious to your subject, which will have the same effect.