Portrait photography is one of the most challenging forms of photography. It’s also one of the most rewarding.
The best portrait photographers can capture a person’s personality in a photograph. They’ll also be able to make you feel comfortable in front of their lens so that you look relaxed and natural.
There are several tips that can help you become a better portrait photographer:
Tips to capture personality in photography
How do you capture personality? There are many ways to go about it, but the most effective is to get your subject involved in the shoot. The best way to do this is by letting them act naturally and just photograph what happens.
Connect with your clients
The first step toward capturing personality in your portrait subjects is to actually create a connection with them. This might sound like something out of an old romance novel, but it’s actually pretty important when it comes to getting great portraits of people.
If you can’t connect with the person you’re photographing, it’s going to be hard for them to open up and let their guard down around you. Make sure that you spend some time getting to know them before you begin shooting so that you’ll have a better idea about what makes them tick and what makes them happy and excited about life in general.
Ask them questions and make them laugh.
Ask them about their day or about something that has happened recently. Ask for their opinion on some topic or give them something funny to react to, such as a funny photo of themselves on their phone or tablet (you can use these kinds of photos as inspiration). If you want an even better reaction, try making up an outrageous story and see how they react!
Look at the eyes!
The eyes are the window to the soul. They give us a glimpse into what someone is thinking and feeling. If you want to capture a person’s true self, look into their eyes. If you’re shooting with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, use live view on your LCD screen to zoom in on your subject’s eyes (you’ll have to turn off auto focus). This will allow you to see every detail of their eye and catch those tiny nuances that aren’t visible when using the viewfinder.
Shoot from different angles!
Get down low and shoot up high… get close and shoot far away… move around until you find something interesting about them that tells a story about who they are and where they come from.
Capture their essence!
What makes them unique? What makes them stand out? What do they love doing? Focus on those things when taking portraits so that each portrait has its own unique voice (or story) behind it.
Get close up.
When you’re working with a camera and lens combination, you’ll want to get close enough to your subject that everything becomes sharp in the frame (this is called “depth of field”). If you’re shooting with a zoom lens, this might mean stepping back from your subject so that they fill the frame with their head and shoulders or even just their face. If you’re shooting with a prime lens (one that doesn’t zoom), then getting closer is probably not an option — but if it is, try getting close enough so that only part of their body fills the frame (their eyes, nose and mouth). This will help make them look more intimate in the photo since less of their body appears in front of them and draws attention away from their face — which is where we should be looking when we take someone’s picture!
Know what your clients want
The right portrait photography is one that captures the personality of your subject. There are many ways to do this, but it all comes down to how well you know your subject and how well you can translate this into a photo.
As a professional photographer, I have worked with people who are very serious about their portraits and others who don’t really care what they look like on camera. It doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, young or old. Everyone has a different personality and different things they want to show off.
There are some things that every person wants in their portrait:
They want to look good! They don’t want to look bad or ugly because they feel bad about themselves when they look at pictures taken of them. It’s natural for people to want to look as good as possible in pictures because we tend to remember the times when we looked our best rather than the times when we didn’t look so hot!
They want to feel comfortable in front of the camera! If someone feels uncomfortable being photographed then it will show through their body language and facial expressions which will make it hard for you to capture that special moment in time where everything comes together perfectly!
Pay attention to their body language
When you’re shooting portraits, it’s important to pay attention to your subject’s body language as well as their face. Think about how they’re holding themselves, whether they’re making eye contact with you or looking away, and how much space they’re taking up in the frame. You can use these cues to help tell your story through your images. Think about what kind of mood or emotion you want your subject to convey and try using poses that allow them to do so naturally without forcing anything unnatural onto them.
Have a conversation before taking the photo
Talk about something that interests both of you; it doesn’t have to be about photography or even about each other. Just have a light-hearted conversation before getting down to business; it will help put both of you at ease and make you more relaxed in front of each other.
When I’m shooting portraits, I try to make sure that my subjects feel at ease in front of my camera. This can sometimes be difficult if I don’t know them well, but even someone who doesn’t particularly like having their picture taken can be made more comfortable by letting them know what we’re going to do and why. For example, telling someone that we’re shooting for a website where people share stories about their lives will put them at ease because they’ll see that it’s not just about looking good (although it might be!).
When I’m photographing people who are less used to having their picture taken, I find it useful to ask them questions like “What’s your favorite place?” or “What would you like people to know about you?” These questions give me an idea as to what makes them tick and also help me connect with them on a personal level — which makes them relax more and smile genuinely!
Asking questions is another great way to build rapport with your subject. Ask them what they like doing in their spare time, what they do for work, or anything else that isn’t too personal or private; it doesn’t matter what they say as long as they can answer comfortably without feeling weird or uncomfortable talking about themselves with someone they don’t know very well yet!
The best portrait photography is about capturing personality. A good portrait photographer can help you to see the beauty in others and bring out the best in them.
The key to great portraiture is getting to know your subject and then using that knowledge to create a powerful image that will resonate with people.