Creating unique images is an art but establishing yourself as a professional photographer in the niche of portraits requires more than just talent and an eye for detail. It is essential to know your camera, and environment and have a professional lighting studio setup to win clients and offer them a unique product.
The expression, “Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching” is never truer than with photography. The secret is to know your equipment and use the most fundamental element in photography: light. Portrait studio photography focuses on not only capturing the image of a person but encapsulating their personality and uniqueness.
Therefore, it is a prerequisite to aid and encourage your subject and gain their trust so they can be as relaxed as possible to capture their true self. Having an established style and reading a person’s demeanor and personality while still incorporating their choices and the objective of the session will help you create an exceptional result.
A good lighting studio setup is the key element in a portrait studio. Taking advantage of natural light is all well and good, but being able to control your environment with artificial lighting, backdrops, and props helps to create the desired image even before using image editing software.
Below are tips to help you achieve great portraiture.
- Build trust and connect with your subject. It is not about your equipment or light but forming an affiliation with your subject to really capture their essence. They need to trust you to be comfortable and relaxed and have their true personality shine through.
- Time is not of the essence. With patience and engagement, you can guide your subject to be at ease, communicate, and capture the best photos. Portrait photography is different from static photography, and you can’t rush the process. Allow time to establish and reflect on what the client expects as this will impact the style and outcome.
- There is no right or wrong. Go with the flow and be guided by the subject. After all, it is what they want, and they trust you can create it. Few people are truly comfortable in front of a camera, so adapt, connect, and converse with your subject to help them through the process.
- Tell their story. After establishing what your subject requires and putting their mind at ease, you can use the surroundings and light sources to tell their story. This is also an opportunity to interweave your style or what is trending.
- Experiment to flatter. What result are you and the subject aiming for? After establishing what your goals are, the lenses, lighting, setting, props, backdrop, and focus can be selected. Know how to balance light and when/how to use your flash. Make sure you use the right lens. Uniqueness can be created when focusing on the subject’s eyes, especially when you soften the background as well. Always remember to flatter your subject, so keep in mind the angle, focal point, backdrop, and color scheme.