"Not photogenic"? Not true!
Here's how portrait pros make everyone look photogenic!
One of the first subjects you take a picture of when you have a camera in your hands is people! Family and friends are usually among our first "test subjects" when we learn to use a new toy... often to their regret! You've probably been told "I'm not photogenic" when you point your camera at someone. Yet anyone can be photogenic! You just need to have the appropriate equipment and knowledge, and that's exactly what we're going to talk about today.
It starts with a good camera...It's true that you can create great portraits with just about any camera, but some of them have features that make it easier. We will then think of face and eye recognition when we do the autofocus, or of beautiful default colors without needing to retouch them (it's always more flattering like that when we show the photos to the models! ). Easy-to-access controls will also help ensure your model doesn't lose patience too quickly ;)
To make your life easier, we have selected devices that are ideal for portraiture. Check them out here!
...but above all a good lens!
That said, it's less the camera that will give you the pro results you dream of, but rather the accessories that come with it! The first of these is the lens.Indeed, the "pro" effect with the beautiful blurred background is mostly caused by a large aperture lens. This one will not only allow you to have that coveted effect (no wonder portrait mode on modern phones adds it digitally), but also allow you to shoot in dimmer lighting conditions if needed. In short, the lens does a very big part of the job!
And the rest... the light takes care of it.
To control the light
Sounds like a superpower, but you don't have to be in the X-Men to do that, I promise: the best way to do it for normal real-life people like you and me is to use an external flash and some accessories! Why limit yourself to ambient light when a little flash can get you as delicate or dramatic as you desire? For example, using a softbox will give you a softer (and more flattering, generally!) look, while a hinged comb will allow you to bring in the light from just about any angle. It's the best way to have exactly the style of lighting you want!
Now that we know how to make everyone photogenic, all you have to do is practice! And, to practice, you need models. In order to prevent the said models from losing patience, sometimes you need to have workarounds on hand if something goes wrong.
For example (and this will sound obvious, but it's worth mentioning anyway), it's important to have fully charged batteries before starting the session. But what if it's due in two hours and you forgot to charge your batteries? No worries, we have the solution for you! A double charger (and still fast!) will give you all the juice you need so you don't run out during the session.
And if your external flash runs out of battery, then you'll be at the mercy of ambient light, which won't always be as nice and soft as you want it to be. Your two best friends in such a situation will therefore be the reflector and the diffuser. They will help you achieve a softer, and therefore more flattering, light because it doesn't draw attention to wrinkles and small skin flaws. The final look will be greatly improved!
Studio experience!Finally, it is certain that the environment that will give you the most control over your portrait session is the studio. This will allow you to place studio flashes (which are more powerful and therefore offer more possibilities), a stage background (classic white, gray or black, or even something more funky like orange, red or blue for a modern style) and a table where you can put a computer to which you can connect your camera (tethering is a very practical technique, but which unfortunately we don't have time to detail here. Another time, maybe to be!). A carpet, a chair or even a blanket: these are also accessories like this that will bring your photo shoot to life!
Help! That's a lot of info!The world of portrait is vast and there are many techniques to achieve all kinds of effects. What we talked about today is just the tip of the iceberg! However, if you have any questions, know that, as always, our advisors are here to help. They too, photography is their passion! Contact them by email, phone, social media or in person, and they will be happy to guide you!
Great pic!Great pic!