Portrait photography has been a popular profession since a long time. History has given enough proof that portrait painting was present in age old days. An offshoot of portrait painting, portrait photography is equally popular in the present day. Portrait painters deal with people, who are the subjects for their paintings. While portrait painting might sound to be just another form of paining, it is not so. Portrait painting involves painting something more than just the portrait of the subject. It involves painting a picture of the person so as to depict a certain quality about the person, certain inherent characteristic, by way of the portrait. It is exactly for this reason that we see portraits of kings and queens from the bygone days having them pose in a way that is a pure depiction of their royalty.
Portrait photography is an art and like all other art forms, it has to be perfected. While perfection naturally comes with time and experience, there are certain basic things which when accounted for, ensure a great portrait. The three main things which are essential for great portrait photography are lighting, settings of the camera and your relation with the model of your photograph.
Taking a portrait photo is all about capturing a person’s face, or in some cases the head and shoulders. It id for this reason that portrait photographers have been taught to remove anything distracting from the background of the subject. While clearing up the entire background id very difficult, you can achieve this end by choosing appropriate settings on your camera. One way of doing this is to have a wide aperture. A good portrait photographer will have the aperture as wide as possible. Choosing a wide aperture renders anything at a distance from the best-focus place as a soft blur. This renders the background to be clear of distractions and gives a beautiful shot to the photographer.
This is the second most important factor for having great portrait photographs. Portrait photograph setups require that the lighting should be entirely controlled. You cannot have a great shot at portrait photography without having control of the lighting on the subject. This is the reason portrait photography is always done in a studio where lighting can be controlled entirely. If you want to try portrait photography at home, you will have to research and discover simple lighting schemes that you can use to get great portrait photographs. The thumb rule of lighting says that your model should be facing you, light falling on the face from the window at the sides.
Relationship with the subject
Portrait photography is al about the photographers relationship with the model if you are shooting a professional model, you do not have to worry. But if you are shooting someone who has never had a portrait photograph taken of himself, you need to take care. The photographer needs to ensure that the subject is comfortable and does not feel awkward or self conscious.
Great portrait photography takes a lot of commitment on the part of the photographer and a lot of support from the subject that is being photographed.