Portrait Photography tips for beginners by Milind Shirsat

Part 1 -Outdoor Portrait Photography – Portrait Photography presupposes shooting several people using nature aground and lighting (outdoor portraits also indoor) Choice of location for taking outdoor portraits can be incredible divers. To get stung outdoor portrait, you must choose the right time for a photo session.

  1. Shoot during golden hour – The golden hour is that time of day that produces soft, golden light- early mornings of sun rise and evening time before sunset. Maybe depend alone on your story what you wanted to shoot.
  2.  Use reflection – shooting outdoor portraits can be challenging. Depending on which time of the day you are shooting. Reflection of light gives you dramatic storytelling on your subject or portrait. Use small size reflectors, mirrors. (Mine fav is a mirror)
  3. Fix focal length lens – most often photographers opt for 50mm lenses. through, the 85mm version is also a good and alternative. To obtain the desired depth of field, effective framing, you need lenses with fixed focal length. Thanks to the low f-stop capability, this lens gives you the opportunity to get a soft bokeh which is so important for every portrait photographer.
  4. Always focus on eyes – The window to the soul, the eye are arguably the most important part of any portrait. Eyes can tell stories on their own with every little else to guide viewers, this is why they are a very powerful part of any portrait and also why they should be in perfect portrait.
  5. Shoot in RAW – Shooting in raw format allows for far more control in post-processing. You can think of RAW format as the image is in its most raw state, that is it includes all of the data that your camera has just processed, nothing stripped back.
  6.  Creative Composition – you can follow all the composition rules. you will get nice shots, greats shots even, but it’s when you push, bend and even break the rules that time you get truly outstanding shots. All I am saying is that yes you do need to learn about the composition fundamentals. First, know the rules, then break the rules.

Part 2 -Indoor Portrait Photography – when I first started indoor photography,I was afraid of the limitations. As a natural light enthusiast, I wanted to have as few restrictions as possible. When I discovered the positive sides of this genre, I was able to pinpoint my creative weakness. It helped me strengthen the skills I already had. Indoor photography is a flexible genre for several reasons.

  1. Focus on Insignificant Details – Indoor photographs can look very simple, especially if you’re shooting in an empty or abandoned space. To make up for this, you can add eye-catching elements to your compositions. Many of us don’t have studios. But you can create your own using things you see every day. Search vibrant objects that you could turn into subjects, foregrounds, or backgrounds.
  2. Use Indoor Artificial Light -What is the best lighting for indoor photography? Many photographers would say that natural lighting. But I say that any indoor lighting you have can give you fantastic results! My experiments with simple artificial light led to my favorite portraits. A few examples are lamps, torches, and phone screens. Regardless of their simplicity, these objects are great to add a spark to your photos.

Correct Your White Balance – Modern cameras do a good job of getting the correct white balance in ‘Auto White Balance” mode. However, for best results, I find it is best to adjust the white balance (WB) settings manually. Setting WB is especially handy if you are shooting JPG format instead of RAW. JPG only stores limited details of an image, so you lose details when heavily adjusting the white balance in post-processing later. If you’re in a space with indoor lighting and not much sunlight, you should set your white balance to match the type of bulbs in the lights (incandescent or fluorescent)

Pro Tip: If you want to get the white balance perfect in your camera, you can use a cheap white balance card as a reference.

  1. Embrace Shadows – Don’t shy away from shadows when shooting indoor photography. Shadows can add depth, mood, and drama to your images. turn your subject sideways onto the window so the light falls on half of them. You can also use existing light fixtures to light from overhead and create dramatic shadows. Play with light fixtures that are existing in the space with handheld lighting options, such as a flash or a softbox.
  2. Schedule Indoor Photography Shoots to Optimize Light– You need to know which way the sunlight will hit the building during different times of the day; this is crucial to shooting indoor photography. For example, a living room might get harsh light in the morning but is bathed in beautiful indirect light all afternoon. If you have access to your location prior to your shoot, spend time there to observe the light throughout the day.

Part 3 – Lenses – when you get first started in photography you are most likely, to begin with, the lens that came with your camera. Before moving up to a better-quality zoom that covers the focal length you need. prime lenses are anytime better.

  1. 50mm – one of the greatest attractions of this lens is that the f/1.8 from many manufacturers is relatively inexpensive. For portraits: 50mm lenses are great for full- length and waist-level portraits, both on the location indoor & outdoor.
  2. 85mm– if you are looking for a lens that provides a reasonable working distance from the model, with a narrow field of view than a 50mm lens, the 85mm is the most popular focal length for a portrait.
  3. The jewel in any portrait photographer’s Kir bag has to be the 35mm lens. these types of lenses have the bonus of allowing you to get close to the model without invading their space. produces absolutely stunning full-length shots.

I’m Milind Shirsat is Mumbai based Visual Artist and Commercial/ Editorial Photographer & Cinematographer working in the art, craft, and advertising industry. I started my journey in photography in 2010 Skilled in Photography, Advertising, Editing, and Art. He completed photography from J.J.School of Art, Mumbai (2011) & Graduated in Commercial Art from the L.S. Raheja School of Art, Bandra with a specialization in photography (2015). Milind started his photography career as a photojournalist in 2011 for Marathi and English newspaper. then he turned in to editorial and commercial work after graduation. After some years working for brands, he started filmmaking and Join Ad film Making College in 2017 at Prahlad Kakar School of Branding AD Film Making, and then he started working as Assistant Cinematographer. Milind has received many national and international awards & work Features in Famous Magazines.

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