Most people just go around snapping photos of friends and family without any idea how they will turn out. Portrait photography is a step above people photography in that you have elements to take into account such as the lighting, angle and expression and emotions on each persons face. If you are an amateur photographer and want Christmas photos without having to pay more for a professional, there is some basic techniques that are used by professionals you need to know. Â To begin with, you need to study the persons face to determine which is the best angle to shoot from.

Even though it is a cliche, the fact is that most people have a “best side” whether it is due to acne, scarring or something simple like the person has one eye that is a bit larger than the other and when looking straight into the camera, can cause a bad portrait. But, if the photographer goes to one side and angles up just a bit, the shadows and light will even out the features and at the same time, keep any distinctions that make them who they are because to capture the essences of the person and their personality is what portrait photography is all about. It is the little things that count and add character to the face and the portrait and by loosening up your subject, makes this easier to capture.

As a new professional portrait photographer, it is best to learn as much about your subject as possible before the session. For example, if your subject is a family member, you will already know how to get to their real personality and capture that on film. Lighting is a very important step in taking good portraits. Many professionals use artificial lighting but prefer natural light but it depends on the subject and what is best for them that will determine the lighting used. If you use natural light, the aperture setting will have to be changed because of the cameras lack of definition. To fix this, you use both light and shadows to create contrast and get the effects you want. If you are interested,go to Portrait Photography.

The bad news about artificial light is that it is harsh and cannot be directed correctly unless you are in a studio. In this case, you will once again need to change the aperture settings on your camera to create definition and effects you are going for and get the perfect portrait. Another very important aspect to portrait photography is the background as this will also have an affect on the lighting. If you are in a studio, the photographer picks the best background that will bring out your features and clothing and create contract and distinction between you and the background. When taking portraits at home, you also want to choose the background that will give color to your subjects instead of taking it away.

A tree to sit on with mountains as the background makes great portraits but if the background is too busy, it may distract from the subject. The best portrait is one that makes your subject apart of the photo instead of outside of it and by using the right camera, film, angles, lighting and having an understanding of your subject will not only determine the quality of the photo but also allow you to create a near professional portrait of your family members and friends in all occasions rather than just snapping shots and hoping for the best.

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