Kathleen Riley Photography | People || 5 tips on taking better portraits of people

People || 5 tips on taking better portraits of people

January 25, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

People || Portraits

Kathleen Riley Photography || Minnesota Portrait Photographer

I love taking photos of people and I hope that some of these tips will help you take great photos of your family and friends. Here are some helpful tips before the 5 tips.

  • Give everyone the star treatment (Yes, everyone!)
  • Showing your soul to the world is my goal any time I point a camera at you.
  • When shooting on a movie set Call Times are exactly when a shoot won't happen.
  • I want you to feel like the sessions are upbeat and fun with a little mystery too.
  • How do we like to do it? Shoot fast, have fun and keep the mojo going.
  • If you have more than one person in the image ask: "Which one of you has more dirt on the other?"
  • Best tip for getting a great natural look? Tell you subject "Think about smiling, but don't"

Scroll through the images for the 5 tips

1940s boudoir1940s boudoir Rosie the Riveter from the 1940s shoot with MonaRosie the Riveter from the 1940s shoot with Mona Red head at the playgroundRed head at the playground This is how it looks to get your first horseThis is how it looks to get your first horse High School graduationHigh School graduation The happy couple - engagement photosThe happy couple - engagement photos This girl loves dogs!This girl loves dogs! Working for Lego moneyWorking for Lego money Weddings are wonderful and we love sharing your dayWeddings are wonderful and we love sharing your day Thanks for scrolling through to get to the tips!

  1. Get close - I know, you think you're close enough, but get even closer. When in doubt, closer is always better. You don't even need to show the top of people's heads -- yes, that close.
  2. The Eyes really are the window to the soul - If you are close to your subject you'll be able to see where the iris (the colored part of the eye) is located. Depending on what "feel" you are going for you may want it as close to the center of the eye as possible. I shoot centered eyes, sideways eyes, squinty eyes, it all depends on what I want the image to tell you when you look at it. (Roll back up and look at the various eyes in these images, lots of variety but each one has a feel that the eyes help convey.
  3. Let the children run wild - Don't worry about your children being children (unless it is dangerous, then ride herd on them a little to keep them safe) Children and animals love me and I am happy to chase them around to get those magical shots that you want to display as art in your home. Don't worry if they have a melt down, those make for great pics too. Kids are speedy and you'll want to capture them doing their thing which probably isn't sitting on a stool in a studio.
  4. Hands - help people in your images to look natural with their hands. For women, shooting the hand in profile and having the fingers curved will make them look better. If people aren't sure what to do with their hands, give them something to hold and an activity so the hands do what they are supposed to be doing. I could write a book on how to shoot hands, hey there's an idea!
  5. Shoot into the sun - If you haven't practiced shooting in the early morning or late afternoon, get out and give it a try, the lighting is lovely then. I especially love those times for backlit images.

Do you have tips that have helped you? Be sure to share them!



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