The Nikon D750 is one of the most impressive full frame DSLR cameras ever made.
And while this piece of top-tier photography technology works wonders when shooting outdoors, capturing gorgeous panoramic landscape shots or even high definition cinematic videos, it really shines when you are shooting portraits.
An amazing tool to help you unleash your artistry, this 24.3 megapixel camera is professional grade with all the bells and whistles you need to take great photos.
Of course, a couple of tips and tricks in your back pocket to help improve your portrait photography won’t hurt, either.
That’s why we put together this quick guide.
By the time you’re done with the inside information below you’ll have a couple of new ideas about how to make your portraits really pop. These are the “industry secrets” that professional photographers use all the time, the difference between good photos and great photos, and something that you can master relatively quickly.
If you’ve been dreaming about ways to really take your portrait work to the next level, this is the guide for you.
Combine these tips and tricks for some amazing Nikon D750 portrait photography and you’ll be unstoppable!
Shall we jump right in?
Let’s get to it.
Diffuse Natural Light For Your Nikon D750
Most portrait work requires really (REALLY) good lighting – but that doesn’t mean that you need the subject of your work to be swimming in direct sunlight.
No, that kind of harsh lighting can be almost unforgiving on the skin. All of a sudden blemishes, spots, and uneven complexions are going to show up in your Nikon D750 (in large part because this camera captures everything).
Thankfully though, you can soften direct sunlight really easily by moving your portrait subject around so that the light is filtered through a window, through screen, or through shutters or blinds.
Anything to sort of diffuse things a little bit, to break up the harshness of direct sunlight, and to add a little bit of atmosphere and ambience into your portrait work, too.
This is especially important when you’re dealing with natural, direct sunlight. Studio lighting gives you a little more control over how everything looks in the camera frame. Direct sunlight, however, isn’t ever going to cooperate unless you are controlling the filters you are running it through.
You might have to do a little bit more preplanning before you shoot your next portrait session, aiming to get the light “just right”. But between us, your photos are going to skyrocket not only in quality but in the mood, atmosphere, and energy that you capture as well.
There’s just something about diffused natural light that changes portraits completely. Shoot out in direct sunlight and then through a screen or a window and you’ll see firsthand exactly what we are talking about.
Fiddle Around With Nikon D750 Overexposures
As a general rule, photographers (especially those shooting portraiture) try to avoid overexposure as much as they can.
The last thing you want to do is wash out a subject of your photography, especially if it’s a portrait where they are meant to be on display in the first place.
Overexposures happen every now and again (especially when you’re working in direct sunlight, like we mentioned above) and can be tough to avoid. You’ve no doubt learned a couple of tips and tricks to sort of corral overexposure situations as much as possible.
You’ve also likely found out how to really dial in your Nikon D750 so that you can inside the camera itself.
But what if we told you that you might actually want to overexpose some of your portrait work, just to add a different look that a little cleaner and a little more polished than you might have been able to pull off otherwise?
But we bet that if you tinkered with overexposure a little bit – not going crazy, but controlling it – you’d really like the way it looks, especially outside when the light is bright.
You see, the thing about overexposure is that it washes things out and eliminates a lot of the “detailed work” in portraits to begin with.
Most people (especially in a studio) are looking to capture those details, that wash them away.
In the right situation, though, you can overexpose to such a degree that you wash away blemishes and enhance your portrait work at the same time. You might “fuzzy the details” a little bit with this approach, sure.
But most of the time the finished product is going to look fantastic. Especially if you practice a little restraint with the overexposure approach.
Stage Some Shots With Your Nikon D750 – But Shoot Lots Of Candids, Too
If you start to feel like your portrait work has been getting a little dull, it may not have anything to do with your Nikon D750 portrait photography from a technical standpoint.
It might just be that your portrait subjects are a little stiff and stilted, especially if you are really composing and structuring each shot before you trigger the shutter.
Obviously, there’s definitely a time and a place for really structured portrait work.
Studio work, by its very nature, is superstructure. Yeah, you might be able to freelance off the script every now and again. But there’s a lot of time spent planning shots and a lot of time spent moving light, filters, and getting everything into position.
Candid shots, though, bring a lot of life and a lot of to your Nikon D750 portrait photography without having to do all that much on your end.
The something about capturing life as it unfolds that’s really interesting. In that moment your Nikon stops being a camera and starts becoming a time machine – freezing moments forever.
There’s magic in that. Real magic.
Candid photography always resonates with people more than even the best staged work ever could. You can do amazing art with posed and structured portrait photography, really lighting up the imagination, but there’s a human element to candid work that’s tough to top.
Nikon D750 Wide Angle Lens Work Wonders In Portrait Work
The chances are good you’re not going to find a lot of photographers reaching for a wide-angle lens first when it’s time to shoot portraits.
A wide-angle lens is always going to inject a bit of extra distortion to whatever you are photographing. That’s just the nature of this kind of glass, this kind of lens.
At the same time, though, if you are shooting portraitures with the same kind of lens that every other portrait photographer is shooting with you’re going to end up with very similar results (from a visual standpoint) compared to everyone else.
It’s not hard for you to start to feel like your Nikon D750 portrait photography is getting lost in the shuffle and drowned out in the noise of all the other great portrait work out there when this is the case.
Breakout a wide-angle lens under 50 mm, though, and all of a sudden your portrait work takes on a whole new life and a whole new bent.
Yes, it’s going to be challenging to shoot great portraits with a wide-angle – but that challenge is going to push you creatively and help you generate new breakthroughs in the photos that you do take.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself falling head over heels in love with the portraits you shoot with this “radical” glass at the end of your camera!
Experiment With Nikon D750 Framing Approaches
Another approach to portrait work that can leave your photos feeling a little “vanilla” is centering the subject of your photo session right in the middle of the frame and shooting shot after shot (after shot) with very little variation to your composition.
That’s a major mistake that a lot of newbie and veteran photographers (especially amateurs) make all the time.
Something that separates the images and hobbyist from the professionals is the understanding of the power of framing, especially when you are capturing human stories with your portrait work.
The way you frame your subject – the atmosphere, the background in the foreground, the lighting, everything else captured in frame and where your subject is in that frame, etc. – is going to hugely influence your photography.
Start to think about playing with where your subject is, starting off with the “Rule of Thirds” and then starting to stretch that a little bit.
Move your subject into the foreground or into the background, slide them side to side in your shots, and find more dramatic ways to frame them using your surroundings. That’s when you really start to think like a top-tier photographer and that’s really when your camera work is going to start to shine.
At the end of the day, as long as you keep these tips and tricks in your mind you should be good to go.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into mastering the world of Nikon D750 portrait photography. But the five tips and tricks we highlighted above will definitely help you hit the ground running!