Creative Ideas for Portrait Photography
If you take interest in photographing people, portrait photography is for you. Portraits can be taken in multiple ways, such as blurring the background by adding shallow depth of field, or taking portraits with interesting backgrounds. You can also try minimalist portraits or silhouette portraits. If you think, a portrait is a frontal shot with the subject in medium close up and much of the background removed, you need to change your view on portrait photography and think outside the box. Many photography critics will tell you, old ways of taking portraits show lack of creativity.
Think About the Background
Background is as important as the foreground. If the subject in your photo does not have interesting background, your portrait photography often fails. Positioning the subject in the right background gives creative touch to your portrait photography by making the subject come alive. Background also gives context to the subject and tells more about the subject. You can blend the subject with the background or create contrast.
What do you like?
Framing and Positioning the Subject
If you want to your portraits to come alive, you have to be careful about framing and positioning the subject. You can capture the subject in the entire frame or position him/her against interesting background.
If you are shooting in a studio instead of location, you have to be careful about the props and the background color.
Perspective and Angle
Camera angle is very important in portrait photography. You can take a profile photo (side view) and it still can be a portrait. Take photos in different perspective.
Black and White Portraits
Colors give details to your photography. However, black and white photographs also have their own flavors. You can create black and white photos in two ways.
- By setting your camera in the appropriate mode
- By editing your color photos in photo editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP
Most of the photographers choose the second option because you can have two different versions of the same photo. If you are converting your color photos into black and white in photo editing software, remember to play with hue and saturating.
Add Tints to Your Portraits
Tints give interesting twist to your portraits. You can add tints to your portraits by playing with Scene Mode, White Balance and Color Effects in your camera setting. Alternatively, you can also apply tints to your photos in image manipulation programs such as Photoshop.
Try Silhouette Portrait Photography
You can express your creativity in portrait photography by taking silhouette portraits. You don’t always have to capture the facial expression of the subject, even the body outlines will get you a great shot. If you want to take silhouette portraits, bright light source must be behind the subject. Remember, you have to face the light source.
Morning and afternoon sunlight behind the subject will create great silhouette portraits. If you are shooting indoors, or in a studio, light the subject from behind. You can position the subject at the open door or windows or near lamps to take silhouettes.
Add Filters to Your Portraits
Enliven your portraits by adding filters; professional photographers do this all the time. You can use photo filters during the shooting or while post processing.
Photo editing program has inbuilt Photo Filters option. If you are not satisfied with the filters in your program, you can also install third party plug-ins. Most of the photo editing programs accepts third party plug-ins.If you enjoy portrait photography as well as Photoshopping, you should definitely install third party plug-ins on your program.
Third Party Photoshop Filters
Nik Software Color Efex Pro
Nik Software Color Efex Pro comes with numerous inbuilt filters. There are different filter options for landscape photo, portraits, wedding photo, architecture photo, nature photo and travel photo. Nik Software Color Efex Pro is compatible with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
Perfect Photo Suite by OnOne Software
Perfect Photo Suite is a wonderful Photoshop filter for image correction. With this additional plug-in, you can correct many mistakes made by your digital camera. You can correct skin tones, depth of the field, exposure, sharpness, tint, noise, and remove red-eye. Perfectly Clear Photoshop Plug-in is compatible with Windows and Mac.
PictoColor iCorrect Portrait & EditLab Pro Plug-in
PictoColor iCorrect Portrait & EditLab Pro Plug-inPhotoshop plug-in is for the photographers who want to correct and balance image exposure and color, create HDR effects, and add various effects to the photos, recover lost details by adjusting highlight and shadow. You can save photo-processing time when you use this Photoshop plug-in.
Free Photoshop Filter
Virtual Photographer by optikVerve Labs is a free Photoshop filter as well as standalone program. You can freely download and install Virtual Photographer and use with Photoshop or use as a complete program.
© 2013 Vinaya Ghimire