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July 19, 2018

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5 Tips for Better Portraits

Looking for ways to improve your portrait work? Here are five tips that I have used to make my images stand out.

 

TIP #1 - Getting Those Close Ups 

I love a good close up portrait! What has worked for me is getting on my subject's level and having a conversation. I simply ask questions about likes and dislikes which gets the more relaxed look rather than the artificial "cheese" pose. I also shoot with my aperture wide open (at a low F-stop), so the background is blurred out and the focus goes straight to the eyes on the subject.

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Tip #2 - Keep Limbs Attached

While this rule can be broken at times, I try to remember to not crop at the joints and fingers. (and also keep that chin in the frame!)

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Tip#3 - Rule of Thirds Draws The Viewer In

This is a classic rule of composition and photoshop helps make it easier to achieve by showing you a grid while cropping. The goal is to have your subject touch the connecting lines as you can see below. 

 

 

(Of course, rules can be broken. Here's an example where the subject is centered) 

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Tip #4 - Background Horizontal Lines

I recommend being mindful of keeping the horizontal line either above or below my subject's head rather than going straight through as I find that can be a bit distracting. 

 

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Also, be mindful of keeping your lines straight. 

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Tip #5 - Connect With Your Subject

Most importantly, create a connection with your subjects as these images will give you the best and most natural results. Make them laugh by cracking some jokes and have some races and catch the movement. 

 

 

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