Living

Taking great portraits with your digital camera

...

Nothing is more compelling to us than a dramatic look at another human face. We spend hundreds of dollars for professional photography to get that perfect look. Many of us would like to know how to take pictures like this for ourselves.

With today’s digital photography, we avoid the costly development fees, but are still left with the questions: How do I take better photos? Where do I find good lighting? What are the tricks of the professional photographers?

By following these five easy tips even a beginner can take professional-quality portraits – suitable for framing.

Prepare for your shoot

Make sure you and your subject have eaten a light meal and no one is tired. Schedule a quiet 30 minutes to take your pictures. Gather props and clothing, and prepare a background that is free from clutter.

Focus on having fun

Loosen up and find humor. Often the best pictures occur from something silly happening in the background. Your subject laughs or gives a funny expression, resulting in a masterpiece to keep for years to come.

Get closer

Try to get within 2-4 feet of your subject. You want to have 90% person, 10% background in your picture. Get close up even when it is uncomfortable. This is where you get the best photographs.

Find the right lighting

Turn off your flash. Using a flash destroys your pictures, giving faces a harsh and unnatural look, like a deer caught in headlights. To get a more flattering tone and higher quality, use natural light. Sit sideways next to a window or door reflecting the bright midday sun; indirect light makes soft and beautiful pictures. It also makes one side of the subject’s face light and the other shadowed, creating strong emotion and mood.

Take more pictures

Most of us are frugal when it comes to taking pictures. With a digital camera, you can simply delete the pictures you don’t like, so snap away! Fill the entire picture card with one subject. You are bound to find a few pictures that thrill you.

Using these insightful tips will give you access to creating quality portraits of your family and friends.

Visit the HP Digital Photography Centre