If you’ve tried your hand at portraiture you know that different subjects require different techniques to obtain the best possible results. Photographing kids often means crouching down and shooting from their eye level, the task with men is making them appear strong and imposing, and portraits of women call for yet another approach.
Today’s tutorial comes from the Photography Session Days YouTube channel, a British workshop source for straightforward lessons designed for shooters of all skill levels. Today’s video is devoted to making portraits of women, with a number of great tips that will make you and your subjects proud.
Instructor Emma Finch is a portrait pro based Manchester, and she covers all the basics in less than seven minutes. You’ll learn how to prepare for a shoot and a variety of poses to use depending upon the look and mood you want to convey. Finch also discusses composition and simple lighting solutions that are well-worth giving a try.
Finch begins by directing her pretty model to strikes poses that make her look as attractive as possible. It’s obvious that a subject’s face is typically the key aspect of a portrait. According to Finch, the model’s hands are often next in the hierarchy. As she says, “after the face, hands can really make or break an image.” And she demonstrates a few important dos and don’ts.
Another key posing goal is to emphasize the female form, and here again Finch illustrates several flattering options. As she says, “we want to see curves.” Positioning a model relative to the camera is the name of this game, and often the goal is to create a slimming effect. One trick here is a pose that accentuates a subject’s hip in comparison to her waist.
Legs are next on the list, and Finch says, “At the end of the day, all women want longer legs.” As you’ll see, there are a few ways to fulfill this request regardless of the models natural shape. Here she demonstrates counterproductive poses, followed by those that get the job done—whether a subject is seated, standing, or reclining.
All can be for not, even when the model strikes a beautiful pose, if you don’t compose the shot properly, and this is another topic of conversation. Skillful cropping also factors into the equation, so be sure to follow Finch’s suggestions for this key part of the process.
Finch also delves into simple lighting techniques than can make a huge difference in your photos. She insists that “the best light is the softest light,” and she illustrates this point with one of her award-winning dark and moody images.
If you’re interested in more portraiture techniques, all you have to do is visit the Photography Session Days YouTube channel where there’s much more to learn.