Last month a friend invited me to speak about portraits with 2 of her photography classes at a private girls school on the Main Line. It ignited in me an old dream to be a teacher. Guiding them through my background, showing my portraits, sharing my take on portraits and demonstrating in their studio my process was exhilarating.Read More
The most important part of making an image is great light and the best camera is the one you have with you.
Here are some great tips on finding great light:
If you are indoors, turn (or move your subject) towards the light coming in from a window. Below I took a photo of Ari with her back to the light and another with her facing the light (both unedited). You can see what a difference turning to the light makes.
Don't photograph in direct sun. It is harsh and create ugly shadows on the face. That is why most photographers will insist on taking portraits an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset when the light is so much softer.
If you are out in direct sun, look for the shadows, whether under the eave of a roof, just inside the doorway but have your subject face the light. If the sun is too bright, have them close their eyes and then open and you capture at the moment they open their eyes before the glare gets too much.
Shoot on a cloudy day. Best for even light.
Let know if these tips were helpful. I will continue the series next week.
Whether you have an iPhone or a digital camera, you can take interesting photos by thinking before you press the shutter. Today's camera phones are so good, that you really don't need in a DSLR for most things (I heard the portrait mode in the iPhone 7 rivals that of a DSLR which is mind blowing!). I thought I would share some universal tips to improve your IG Photos or selfie game.
1. Change Your PERSPECTIVE. Especially in locations and spaces that are "stale" to you, changing your perspective will make the location look totally different and add interest. Look UP at that tall office building towards the sky or Look DOWN that stairway. Especially in a location that is highly photographed, you will be able to capture a photo that not many have.
2. Magic is in the DETAILS. Get close, closer still. If you want to get closer with macro photos on your phone, you can get an attachment for your phone, similar to this.
3. Include NEGATIVE Space. Minimalist scenes are interesting and can add interest.
4. Take More CANDIDS. Capture all the natural genuine expressions that will make you smile years from now.
5. Look for the LIGHT. A great photograph needs great light, even if it is a sliver of light. If you are taking a selfie, go right up to a window or get a selfie light. Indoors, open the curtains and let in light so that the photos are not blurry and there isn't too much grain. Outside, the best time to take portraits is an hour or two after sunrise and before sunset when the light is soft and there are minimal shadows on the face. You can also get beautiful back light or rim light in the hair. You will note that if you go outside at noon to take a photo, the sun is so high, your eyes are squinting against the light and there are harsh shadows below your eyes; not ideal.
Let me know if these tips were helpful. Leave me a comment if you had a question or want me to address anything in depth in future blog posts.