Tips to improve the composition in portraits has tips that can be applied to any camera regardless of who owns an SLR, a compact digital or mobile phone camera. There are ‘Heavy Duty’ articles like 5 Tips to Improve Portrait Photo From Being Disappointing, 50 Tips on Choosing Poses to Get Stunning Portraits – they either have lot of useful links or lot of tips, mainly for the DSLR users. Tips to improve the composition in portraits is of completely different flavor – When we are to take pictures of people, there are some simple rules of composition that we can apply to avoid trivial errors, which would be annoying to those who are viewing the picture and add interest to our shots to make them look more professional.
Tips to Improve the Composition in Portraits : Introduction
We will assume that, the readers have the basic grasp on the parts of composition. We will not explain the points in details within this article. In case, you still have not much grasp on the topics, you can separately read them, none of us actually started knowing everything :
- Rule of Thirds in Digital Photography
- Composition in Digital Photography
- Diagonal Lines in Composition
- Horizontal Lines in Composition
- Vertical Lines in Photography
Tips to Improve the Composition in Portraits
Remember the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is a very simple rule, but for a beginner can lead to a big improvement in the composition. It applies to all kinds of photos, so we should not forget about it when we photograph a portrait. In particular, as pointed out in another article on other articles on portraits, in most cases, the major focus will are the eyes, so make sure to align the eyes to one of the intersection points in the rule of thirds.
Point of view
The tone of the picture changes a lot depending on the point of view of the photographer than the subject. Framing the person from the top down or from the bottom up, we can get different effects, we can highlight the physical characteristics so that it does not like to stress negative points – such as a broad forehead and a prominent nose. So, if you just took a picture that does not convince us – the viewers and not we can not identify the reason for disatisfaction, we try to photograph from other points of view and compare the different results. Experimenting with other points of view we can add dynamism or even humor to the portrait.
Most of the pictures are taken holding the camera horizontally, portraits get a more professional look when the picture is taken holding the camera vertically. Not for anything else, the vertical orientation in English is called “portrait orientation” or orientation from portrait. This advice applies whether you are running a very close portrait, which only frames the face, that a full-length portrait. This does not mean, however, that a portrait photo taken in landscape orientation is not good.
Leave a space to look at
In many portraits, the subject looks straight into the lens. When this does not happen, it may be a good idea to a leave space in the direction that is of the look of the subject. This means that, if the subject is looking to the right, we will make sure to leave some free space in the frame on the right.
Do not chop out disproportionately
What we mean is that, when certain body parts of the frame are not included, they must be ‘cut’ carefully. In particular, three main aspects are to be taken into consideration: never ‘cut’ the fingers or toes, better completely exclude hands or feet; if the limbs are cut exactly at the height of the joints it will create a feeling of disorder in the photo, so better to cut at an equal distance from two joints; if you look at many of the shots, in the fashion industry for example, you will find that a very common technique is to cut the top of the head.
Fill the frame
As in the case of the rule of thirds, this is another good advice in many areas of photography. To give importance to the person portrayed, expression, to involve the viewer of the photo, to reduce the weight of the background, it is better to try to fill the frame as much as possible, the framing. In particular, better not to leave excessive space above the head of the person portrayed (which goes hand in hand with the last point of the previous guidance).
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