Most of the novice photographers prefer learning portrait photography over any other niche. This is because portrait photography skills are usually needed by almost every photographer. Such intense passion to ace this particular photography type is also because of its widespread fame. If you know the right way to capture portrait shots, you’re likely to do well as a wedding and fashion photographer too.
However, many don’t realize that all such benefits of learning portrait photography don’t come easily. You have to practice a lot, spending a lot of your time focusing on and learning various aspects of capturing portraits. A professional portrait photographer is expected to know the best ways to shoot everything up-close and not just human faces. Once you capture portraits, you must know the perfect ways to edit them neatly. This need for excessive and careful editing makes portrait photography even harder and complex.
Even when a powerful camera can help ease the process of portrait photography learning, a good camera alone can’t do anything. Rather, you need special skills and a lot of practice before you jump into the professional circle as a portrait photographer. Speaking of a good camera, many new portrait photographers are advised to go for Nikon D5300.
Developed especially for portrait photography purposes, the Nikon D5300 comes packed with exceptional features. This user-friendly camera has a strong body build alongside a 24.1MP sensor, a strong AF system with 24 points, great RGBs, and efficient exposure and ISO settings. Here are some tips and tricks you can try out if you’ve already got this camera to ensure better and quicker portrait photography learning.
One of the most unique aspects of portrait photography is that it is strikingly different from other niches in various ways. Interestingly, the element of exposure is no exception, as well. Compared to the ritual in other photography niches, you need to work with a higher exposure for portrait shooting. Actually, almost every shot in portrait mode is taken with the subject and the camera at a very close distance to each other.
This closeness increases the chances of the camera focusing more on the flaws and spots in the subject, thus ruining the image’s smoothness. The problem arises either you’re shooting a human subject or an inanimate one. A photo with an elaborate focus on abnormally different points and flaws looks untidy and rough. The only way you can deal with such a problem is by using overexposure.
When the exposure is higher, the focus on flaws gets lowered down, thus giving the picture a smoother and cleaner finish. However, using overexposure isn’t an easy or straightforward task at all. Even the most minor increase or decrease than the required exposure rate ruins the picture, making it look like a flawed or mistaken shot.
As a portrait photographer, it’s your job to decide the best possible exposure settings by spending some time working with different exposure-related modes. Your Nikon D5300 can make your overexposure selection job quite easier as compared to an ordinary camera. This camera comes with a versatile exposure setup, allowing you to play with its different ranges and easily. Using this feature, you’d be better able to find the best possible exposure rate for any shot without wasting a lot of your time.
Know Your Camera Well
This is probably the most important, yet the most underrated, tip for any photographer. You cannot expect to take magical shots with a camera that you’re using for the first time in your life. Not having a detailed usage experience and know-how of any device can lead you to use it in the wrong way. Moreover, suppose you aren’t fully aware of your camera’s settings.
In that case, you might never try out new modes and setups, fearing that you’d permanently ruin your camera’s functioning. All of this explains why knowing your gear is the most important step to learning portrait photography. By “knowing” here, we mean working with your camera so much that you automatically memorize its most important settings and modes. You have to be so comfortable using your camera that you don’t even have to think about opening a new setting or find it hard working over it.
This know-how of any camera can only be achieved if you use it regularly and practice your skills with it as much as you can. As a beginner, spending 2-4 hours practicing with your camera daily is useful if you want to make a name for yourself in the field. Great, if you’re a Nikon D5300 user, this know-how of your camera can be achieved very quickly and easily. This camera has the easiest interface, allowing you to learn almost all its important settings and feature in no time. Such a beneficial element is great if you want to start professional level portrait shoots quickly.
Don’t Place Your Model In The Center
It’s normal to think of any portrait shot as one with the subject at the center of the frame and all blurred borders. Even when most of the portraits look like that, there’s no rule that can force you to follow the same positioning technique. Rather, you can capture better portraits with your subject or model at an odd or unique place in the frame, for example, on a top or bottom corner. This can allow you some extra space in the frame for experimentation.
Instead of simply blurring the borders, you can work on them to create an interesting contrast in your frame. These empty borders can also be used to work with shadows to give an interesting touch to your shot. Additionally, you can put some props in the empty spaces within the frame, making your portrait shot worthy of attention.
The Nikon D5300 can help you easily place the model in the best possible portion of the frame other than the center. You simply need to use this camera’s grid-screen feature that divided the frame into equal sections. Later, you can easily choose the best section where your model should be placed while using the other sections for whatever aesthetic purposes you want.
Many novice photographers think that a portrait shot is all about capturing a model’s face. Even when this idea is true to some extent, you don’t need to stick to it all the time. You can always add an extra element or a prop to your frame for an added effect. Using props in portrait shots can also enhance the main subject in the picture. If you use your props smartly, you can add beautiful contrasts in your shots, making them fun and unique. Props can also be used to add some liveliness or shadows in a portrait shot, giving it an intense or dramatic vibe.
Despite such usefulness of using props, you can’t use them randomly and in whatever way you want. Any photographer using props in a frame needs to give special attention to the colors being used. Additionally, you must see the purpose of your shot and only use a prop that doesn’t interrupt your main subject’s value in the frame. Props need to be positioned very sensibly, making sure that you don’t overuse them or use a prop that doesn’t suit the frame’s aesthetics at all.
Thankfully, your Nikon D5300 can help you in deciding if the prop you’re using is worth it or not. You just need to work with your camera’s exposure and AF features the right way, and it’d automatically tell you if the prop would look good in the final shot or if you should immediately remove it.
Take Candid Shots
New photographers usually have a lot of misconceptions about portrait photography. One such misconception is that the model or the subject always needs to pose intensely and very seriously for a portrait shot. You need to know that there’s no such thing that stops a portrait shot from capturing raw and candid moments. Rather, capturing such impromptu elements can help you in acing portrait photography and creating unique shots the easy way. Such importance of candid shots requires a portrait photographer to develop the skills of candid shooting.
Try distracting your models with a joke or a story during the shoot so that their focus on fake posing is lessened. It’s also important to make them so comfortable with your presence that they can be themselves in front of the camera.
When they’re confident and comfortable, they’d automatically strike the most candid of the poses, laughing their hearts out and being as real as possible. This comfort and ease can only be ensured if you give your models some time in front of the camera, making sure that they feel comfortable in your presence. Good for anyone who owns a Nikon D5300. The camera has a long battery life. This makes sure you don’t rush with the shoot and can get as many candid poses as you want.