Quick Tips for People and Portrait Photography

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Quick Tips for People and Portrait Photography
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There are two categories of people photograph namely portrait and candid. To communicate well with your subjects, get the quick tips for people and portrait photography here.

#1: Stay near your subject

Don’t be shy to get closer to the subject! Provided that you approach people rightly, they are often happy to respond. It is your ability to “break the ice” and encourage them to cooperate for the best portraits. The good advice is joking with them and telling them why you take their pictures. At first, practice with your relatives to feel comfortable. For the strange people, the first thing to do is getting to know them in an open and friendly way. Then, when they allow you to photograph, take your camera out of the bag and do it.

#2: Consider the appropriate settings

The settings in which people appear to be photographed are significant because the environment (house, street, relaxing room, etc.) tells us something about the subject and their lives. So, for the fantastic people photography, you’d better consider the balance between subject and setting. The settings should NOT be sophisticated that drives the subject to get lost in it.

#3: Take candid without people’s awareness

If you don’t want people to be aware of the camera, get some ways to stay “unobtrusive.” First, decide what you want to capture such as vendors in a street, lines at a shopping mall, people in a park, etc. Then, find the ideal spot overlooking the concerned subjects and wait for the golden time when every element comes together to be worth photographing. If you’re distant from the subjects, they are unlikely to notice you. But if they do, just smile and wave to show your friendliness!

Alternatively, to be unobtrusive, you can stay there long enough so that they stop noticing you. Then, wait for the ideal moments and make your exposure without people’s notice, but try to do it gently. Another way is to use the cameras with modern autofocus and auto exposure: put it on the table with the lens pointed at the subject and just press the remote release in time.

#4: Take candid with people’s consent

When the photographers are close to the subjects, they can take candid with their consent. In the consentaneous candid, the relationship can be either evident or subtle. The subjects can look directly into the camera or look elsewhere, but the pictures evolve the intimate sense because the subjects are aware of being recorded.

#5: Predict the subject’s behavior

By keeping an eye on people, you can somehow predict what they are going to do in the next seconds. So, keep your camera ready with the already set aperture and shuttle speed! In that way, you can timely get pictures of people. The good choice is to watch people via the viewfinder carefully to anticipate what is about to occur and then capture that precious moment.

#6: Anticipate people relationship

Understanding how people tend to react in the certain situations helps you make the best people photography. For instance, people are likely to smile when receiving a gift or playing with babies. So, anticipate the relationship that you want to photograph to shoot the right moments.

#7: Get to know unfamiliar culture

If you’re about to photograph people with different cultures, please do careful research regarding the local taboos about photography, local customs, and behaviors that people might have toward you and your camera. Study several basic phrases in local language about the ways to say “hello” and ask for photography permission respectfully. The locals may have some spiritual beliefs to refuse your request, if so, be patient and courteous to convince them! 

#8: Know the types of portrait

  • The Casual Portraits can be taken in the daily life with lots of natural moments such as someone brushes hair, happy faces of children in a family trip, the uncomfortable expression on driver’s face during rush hours, etc.
  • The Environmental Portraits convey an idea about people by combing their portraits and places. For example, it can be about the work you do and where you do it, the house you live and how you decorate it, etc.
  • The Group Portraits are uneasy because it takes efforts to ensure every face in the group looks good without closed eyes. To do group portraits well, photographers need to be patient, diplomatic, with a good sense of imagination to express exactly what kind of group is.
  • The Familiar Subjects are about photographing your family members. Carry out your portrait or candid ideas with the family to get familiar with the photographic work.
  • Hands and Other Parts (feet, belly, eyes, etc.) are great photographic subjects. Each detail of the human body should carry a message about a person, and via photographing, you want to show it off.
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I created this website for sharing with you my passion as well as my experiences of taking photograph in my beautiful Vietnam. For me, the most important condition for good photograph is the lighting, the moment, good venue with a good luck as well...

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