1. Set the Scene
Set the scene at your home so your subject feels at ease. Remove unnecessary clutter, make sure there are no distractions, and turn off any noisy appliances such as televisions or music. If possible, turn off any lights. In the evening, set up the scene with a dimmer switch to make for a more flattering light.
2. Dress for Success
If you are not comfortable in clothes that look good on you, try renting something from a vintage shop.
3. Have a Good Time!
Keep the atmosphere relaxed and friendly by talking quietly, taking things seriously and enjoying yourself.
4. Let It All Hang Out
It’s great to experiment and try different shots. The best images are often found during an informal shoot, where you are just having fun.
5. Remember Your Goals
Have clear goals in mind, and make sure your model knows what they are. This will ensure that you both keep your focus on achieving the same thing, rather than just snapping away.
6. Have Fun With Post-Production
Keep in touch after the shoot. Try to schedule another shoot with the same model and the same photographer. It’s good to build a relationship and make sure you are working with the same person, as this will help you find your niche as a professional photographer.
7. Ask Friends for Advice
Ask friends and other professionals in the business for advice. If you know someone who is a skilled portrait photographer, ask if they can recommend a good local photographer.
8. Be Patient
The process of learning to take photographs takes time, and you should not expect to be able to capture stunning images straight away. Take it one photo at a time and enjoy the experience of making portraits.
9. Keep Learning
Study the camera manual.
10. Learn About Lighting
Lighting is the most important aspect of photography. Look for good lighting, as this will help you capture the best results. Read up on the equipment available, and then take a class or book a course.
11. Be Creative
Photography is a creative profession and the best photographers are constantly trying to come up with new ideas. Think of a photograph that you like, and make it your goal to create a similar shot.
12. Practice Makes Perfect
Make yourself take plenty of photographs and develop your skills. You need to get used to the camera, and the best way to improve is to take lots of photographs.
13. Have Fun
Make the most of the process of learning to take photographs.
14. Create Memories
Make photographs that will bring back happy memories of your subject.
15. Keep a Journal
It’s good to write down ideas, so you don’t forget them.