Many photographers prefer to shoot portraits outdoors, either because they don’t have a studio or they like the look achieved with available light. There’s a bit more to this method than you may think, but it’s all explained clearly in the behind-the-scenes video below.
Manny Ortiz is an accomplished pro specializing in street photography and outdoor portraiture. He’s also a popular instructor, and in this episode he combines his specialties to provide several portrait photography tips in just five minutes.
Ortiz isn’t afraid to break a few “rules” of composition as he photographs his pretty model sitting in the shadows on the street beneath a railroad overpass. You’ll see how he composes the shot with several different camera angles, and pick up a few helpful posing ideas along the way.
Ortiz faces a new set of challenges after moving his subject out from beneath the bridge, while using the sun to illuminate the model. Here his subject is standing, which requires a different set of poses, and Ortiz draws the viewer’s eyes into the shot by framing the model between a couple pillars in the background.
As Ortiz continues his portrait walk he demonstrates how to shoot against the sun, employing leading lines and a few other compositional tricks to capture a series of compelling portraits. You’ll see how he uses simple directions to put the model at ease and encourage her to be a helpful partner in the shoot.
There are several more helpful suggestions for making street portraits, cropping the scene properly, integrating a model’s clothing with the background, and much more. So take a look, find a willing subject, and get busy!
If you’re interested in learning more about shooting on the street, all you have to do is visit Ortiz’ YouTube channel. And be sure to check out another tutorial we shared, comparing 35mm and 85mm lenses for making people pictures.