It is normal that even when having a certain level portrait photography experience, there will be some occasional flaws due to nervousness or simply because rushing into things. Today we want to talk to you about certain things that you should never forget before starting a portrait photography session.
We have Plenty of Portraits
Seriously, we have so many portraits nowadays, that we need to start doing something about it. And unless you want to continue to do more and more photographs that look alike everything else being published right now, you should start considering the storytelling element in your portraits. We live in a state of photography that we simply can’t ignore any longer, and if we want to make a living out of photography, then it needs to really stand out across all the platforms that we use for showcasing our images.
This state of photography shouldn’t be seen as something negative. Right on the contrary, we simply have to push ourselves a little bit further, and we also need to find out what is important for people to actually make a stop and look our photographs beyond the mere act of hearting and liking them.
The most important thing about the photographs that are worth remembering is that they have a story to tell. Before starting a portrait project, it is wise to create a concept. With this approach, you’ll have a good story to tell to your target audiences. The important thing is that our images reach that sleeping state of the human mind, and make them feel and think again with our portraits.
It is important that each portrait session should happen with adequate amounts of time in order to avoid falling into any sort of rush. Many times, we have seen photographers schedule sessions, one after the other, giving little or even no space for resting.
If we talk about the importance of creating a concept, and that we should be telling a story with our portraits, then this slow paced approach makes even more sense. Remember, never work with tight schedules, because if you do, you’ll also be opening the door for small risks to turn into a major possibility, or even a sad reality.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter how much time you have being doing this, always make a checklist of the things that you’ll be needing. From clean memory cards to fresh batteries, to even contracts and location paperwork. Checklist will always keep you in control of any portrait photography session.
Mind the Background
In every portrait session, the main subject of course is the model or the subject (which could be your client or not). It is really important to think about those backgrounds that you’ll be using in order to enhance your portraits storytelling component. Nowadays, there are some really nice hand painted backgrounds that make everything extremely unique. Also you should do some scouting if you are planning on doing an outdoor photography session.
It is not only important to consider the backgrounds, but also the color palettes that you’ll be working with on every session. Color is one of the biggest challenges in photography, but when it is used correctly, it is a very powerful tool to attract looks in a meaningful way.
In the conceptualization stage, this element must be considered, since color is not something that you should not let to improvisation, ever! If you have respect for color in portraits, the resulting photographs will be extremely breathtaking for anyone else besides yourself.
Do not forget the basics
This is very important, and is that the basic techniques of composition, such as the rule of thirds, or the rule of odds, shouldn’t be down seen even if you have several years doing this. It is common that when a photographer reaches a certain amount of experiences (not even experience per se) in photography, it will feel confident and will start to forget about the primordial stuff about composition or exposure.
From creative techniques, such as juxtaposition, high key, low key, and even curious point of views, everything should always be taken into account prior to the shoot, exactly, at the conceptualization stage of your portraits.
We hope that this words will be refreshing for you, and that they can also help you out if you are feeling a little bit numb and out of inspiration (which trust us, is a very common thing to happen in photography, so don’t feel sad about it). Photography is a slow pace discipline, therefore it can last a lifetime if you find the flavor of doing it forever.