Photography Tutorial | How To Take Better Portraits For Beginners


Hello again back photography here back with another video, so welcome back to the channel. Today we’re, going to be talking all about portrait, photography, how you can take beautiful, portraits in this tutorial and the tutorials going to be for beginners, and anyone who wants to learn how to take beautiful, portraits, regardless of camera equipment.

Regardless of what camera body or camera lens that you have, I’m, going to be talking all about and lighting how to compose a beautiful portrait. How to take the photo, and I’m, going to go into a Photoshop and then do some editing as well, but the editing is going to be compatible with any editing software that you use, whether you use Photoshop, Lightroom or anything else follow along And you’ll still be able to get something out of this video.

So if you’re new to the channel make sure to leave a like and subscribe. If you enjoy the content, you’re about to see and also make sure to check out a link in the description to all the raw files from this photo shoot, as well as all the equipment that I used as well.

So what’s? The first thing to think about when you’re, taking portraits well there’s a few things, but, in my opinion, the most important thing to think about when choosing portraits is your composition so making sure that your subject is in the Frame, everything is nice and straight so your horizons straight, and your model is not too far to the left or too far to the right or too high or too low in your frame, and also you don’t want too much negative space above Them too much negative space below them or to the sides of them as well.

Now, of course, all of these rules can be broken and can be a stylistic choice to break those rules, but in general, if you’re wanting to take some really nice portraits in you’re just beginning composition is a really important Thing to think about, and it’s – something that you want to get right in camera, because, although you now have cameras that have 40 megapixels 50, even 100 megapixels, which gives you a lot of opportunity to crop later on in post-production.

If you get it right in camera and get a nice straight photo with your subject in the right position, without any bad angles or anything like that, it’s, going to give you a lot more flexibility in post-processing when you put your photo into Photoshop or Lightroom, or whatever editing software you’re using so before you even take any photos.

The first things you need to think about are, firstly, is your photo angled correctly, so that you have straight horizon and that sort of thing so make sure you’re looking through a viewfinder and everything is lined up nicely second thing is: is your Model or your subject in the middle of the frame or in the position in the frame that you would like them to be so making sure that they’re, not cropped out of the corners.

They’re, not too low in the frame they’re too high in the frame. Everything is in the right position, so that is really important and then another thing that is sort of to do with composition, but it could be considered a separate topic, but I think it’s confirm the same thing is the focus of your photo As well so making sure that if you’re shooting a person, for example, the eyes are in focus – and this is gonna – be a lot easier.

If you’re shooting at a high aperture, because more things are gonna be in focus, but if you’re shooting at a really low aperture with a really nice portrait lens, let’s, say you’Re shooting an F 1.8, Oh F, 1.

4. It’s. Gon na be really really important to nail your focus right on the eye, because, even if you miss just a little bit, everything is going to be blurry and it’s got the blow, is going to be a distraction in the photo and make You not want to look at the face of your subject because, as humans we are drawn to the eyes of a person when we talk to somebody or when we’re.

Looking at somebody, we’d, always look at the eyes. So if the eyes are the thing in a portrait that needs to be sharp and again this is a rule that can be broken. If you’re trying to get some sort of artistic filmic look, you can always blow the entire frame, and that can be interesting too, but in general, with wanting to have the eyes as sharp as possible, and then everything else is sort of secondary To that, depending on whether we’re, going for like a blurry dreamy background or if we’re wanting everything to end frame and it focus as well.

Okay, so now you ‘ Ve got your composition right. You know how to compose a photo to make a beautiful portrait. The next thing you need to think about is lighting and how to light your set up so that you have a beautiful light that is aesthetically pleasing and complements your subject or your model.

So there are a few things to think about. First of all, you need to work out if you want to shoot natural light or off-camera flash. If you’re new to photography, I would recommend starting with natural light, and then you can add lights.

Like LEDs off camera, flashes reflectors, all that kind of stuff. Later on in this video, we’re, not using any off-camera flash, not using any lights using any reflectors. We are just using the natural light in the scene and that’s.

All you really need to take beautiful portraits, but you can go crazy with lighting if you like, as well so for this tutorial, we’re just using the natural light, and also we’re working out the best places to position our Model and to compose our subject such that we have the best lighting possible.

So a few things to consider when you’re thinking about lighting, is you want to shoot in a place which has nice even light unless you’re, using the light as a stylistic choice, for example, you’re, shooting Next to a fence to get nice lines of light or something like that, but in general you’re, going to want to have a nice soft lighting so that you have them the most flexibility in post-production, and you also have the most quality signal Going into your sensor, so you’re, not losing any harsh shadows or bright highlights that are getting clipped out of your data, because your camera can’t capture the harsh light.

So now let’s. Have a look at this photo in particular and talk about the techniques we just discussed in this video, so with composition, you can see that the horizon is nice and straight so we haven’t shot at an angle and if you catch your own Angle, it would look strange because the horizon would look bent and it would just not look like a natural thing that you would see in the world.

So we ‘ Ve got a nice straight horizon. We’re, also using the tree here to vertically compose this image as well and get a nice line. There too. We have our model right in the middle of the frame and although we have one of her legs out of the frame, she’s still in the middle and there’s, not too much negative space on the left or the right And she’s, also in the middle, in terms of the vertical composition of this frame as well.

You can also see that she’s facing inward into the photo, and what I mean by that is that the direction of her face is in the direction going into the image. So she’s on the left of the image. But looking into the right and into the middle of the frame, so if we shot this and her face was on the right of the image.

Instead, it should be kind of looking out of the photo, and that is something that would make the image. In my opinion, look worse so in terms of lighting you can see we have a nice soft, even light, but we’re framing her face with a brighter light on the right-hand side of her face with her left for our right.

Looking at her – and we have a little bit of a darker looking image on the left of her face our left of her face, and you can see also in her dress as well, it’s, darker on our left and brighter on our right.

As well and when you do that, you’re. Basically adding a three-dimensional. Look to your image because you’re using lighting to add depth to the image you can see here that we’re, shooting all in the shade.

I did that on purpose so that we could get a nice even skin tone. So all the lighting from the Sun is in the back, and that makes beautiful bouquet in the background as well, and we shoot in a low aperture as well here, so that we can get that blurry background and focus purely on the subject of this image, which Is the model you can see here that the honours are nice and sharp? But as you go back into the image into the things that don’t matter so much, they’re, nice and blurry.

So they’re, not causing any distractions in this portrait. So now let’s, jump into Photoshop and have a look at how we can edit our portraits to make even better photos and don ‘ T worry if you’re, not using Photoshop, I’m, not gonna, be showing you specific techniques to make your photos better, but more talking holistically about how to get the most out of your portraits in post-production.

Okay. So here we are in Photoshop and let’s have a think about what we can do to make our photos better. The first thing we can do is get the color balance in the image perfect. So if we’re shooting and things are looking a little bit low contrast, or maybe things a little bit too dark, maybe things are looking too blue or too yellow.

These are the first things you’re gonna want to fix. In post production, in my opinion, and the way I like to do that is I like to look at skin tones and move everything around the skin tones until they’re perfect and then change everything else after that.

So if the skin is looking a little bit dark, I make the exposure of the entire image brighter. If it’s, looking a little bit too red, I make everything a little bit more blue and that kind of thing. So I move everything around around the skin tones.

If I’m, shooting portraits so that that’s perfect and then everything else kind of falls into place with that as well. So how do you make skin tone? Look good! Well, it needs to be the right color. It needs to be a nice kind of orangey pink color.

It also needs to be not too bright, Hale, but also not too dark as well. So if you see skin tones on your model, looking a little bit too red and normally means things are looking a little bit too dark and then the copper Zarif is looking too white.

Then often that’s, just because it’s. A little bit too bright and obviously that’s, going to depend on the skin color of your model. If their skin is really light, it’s. Gon na be a little bit different than if they have a darker skin tone now, but just play around with it until you’re happy with the skin tones.

So the next thing, with portraits that I like to do, is I like to make all parts of the image which are meant to draw focus to your subject: make them bolder so making things like the eyes, the nostrils, the eyebrows, all those kinds of things.

A little bit more contrast II, maybe bring the shadows down a little bit with those and then bring the highlights of those up as well just to make them punch a little bit more in the scene, and once I’ve done that.

I then also want to make things that are maybe less important more smooth, so maybe we want to get rid of the imperfections in the skin. What you can do is smooth all of them out by either reducing sharpness or you can reduce the clarity of the image or you can do something like add blur to the skin as well.

And this is something that you can do to the background as well or to parts of the image that you don’t want to be the main focus of the photo. So this is something I really like to do with skin and it’s, a really quick way.

Then you can make a skin look much smoother. Basically, you can just get a masking tool and fill up all the parts of the skin. If you’d like to make more smooth and then which use the clarity of the sharpness or add some blur to those part of the photo just let it stand out quite as much and with the opposite way to make things.

Look more bold and I bring them to the forefront of the image I like to get a brush tool and just add some clarity. Maybe some exposure to shadows and highlights as well and make them really pop from the image.

But you want to make sure not to make them pop too much, because you can go overboard with these and give you a model laser beam eyes, and things like that. You don’t want to do that. You want to make everything looking nice and natural, so potentially all these little changes you might not even be able to notice them by themselves, but once you’ve made twenty changes.

Thirty changes. If things really start to add up – and you can see that everything really comes together so once I’ve done that I’ve got the model skin looking nice after all of her features popping from the image I liked his work Out what color balance I want in the entire scene, there isn’t her, so you always want to have her skin turns looking nice and if you change the color balance without deselecting those parts of the photo that she is in, you can make A skin look too yellow or too blue.

So after you’ve got a skin color right. You can then select everything around her. The amount of change the color with with a nice soft brush, which is what I’m doing here and then make everything, maybe more, yellow or more blue or softer or add clarity or whatever you want to do you do that after you’ve got the subject of your portrait perfect.

So once I’ve done all of those things. I look at the entire photo and I think what could be improved and in this particular portrait you can see that I just added some exposure. There to her lake because it was looking a little bit too dark, so those are all the massive changes that I make at the start of a portrait.

Now I like to go into native Photoshop or whatever you’re, using look at the image again and work out how you’d like to change it. So with this photo, I’m, going to change the rotation of the image and also the composition just slightly just so that she’s right in the middle of the frame, and it would have been ideal to do this.

When I was taking the photo, but sometimes your photos – aren’t perfect and it’s, nice to be able to sort of crop in or even crop out with Photoshop and get your composition perfect. A little rule of thumb I like to use is always take your photo a little bit further out than you think will look good just so you have a little bit of flexibility in post-production for moving the frame around a little bit or zooming in or whatever You need to do because, quite often you’ll, you’ll shoot really cropped in and then you’ll just be a little bit too fast left or a little bit too high in your composition.

And are we much more difficult to change that if you’ve, really zoomed in when you’ve taken the photo so just adding a little bit, maybe like 10 to 15 percent zooming out, then you would expect your final product.

It really gives you a lot of flexibility in composition, post-production in case you make any mistakes, and this is something you really couldn’t do 15 years ago, when you had a digital camera that have super low megapixels, but now that we have these Cameras that you know 40 megapixels or more, you really have a lot of flexibility in post-production to make these changes.

Now. Obviously it’s, an ideal to get everything perfect in camera, but nobody’s perfect and sometimes you will make mistakes and it is nice to have that flexibility in the post-production. So now what I’m doing here is just getting rid of any imperfections I can find in the skin and doing any fine details to the photo.

Now that we’re coming to an end in the editing process – and this is something that you don’t have to do with your photos, but it can just kind of like take everything to the next level. By looking all these fine details and making little adjustments to get everything, wasn’t perfect and, like I said before, all of these changes are going to be so minor that by themselves you’re, probably not going to tell, but once You’ve, made 30 or 50 minor changes.

Everything really comes together and you can make a big difference to your photo just by really going into detail and being thorough with your photos. So take your time with this sort of thing and make sure that you zoom back every so often and have a look at the overall image and see if your little changes are making a difference.

You can always go back if you make a mistake, so don’t worry about, you know, experimenting trying new things just make sure you always do them out and have a look at the entire image to make sure everything is working seamlessly and nothing Looks too strange when you’re editing, so that is pretty much everything for this photo.

I really hope that you like it, and I really hope that you found this video interesting and informative and remember that there is a link in the description to the raw files from this photo shoot. So if you’d like to go back and edit along with me or even do a completely different edit and send that to me on Instagram, I would really like to see all of the edits that you do to these photos and to your Photos as well, so that is everything for this video.

I really hope you enjoyed it make sure to leave a like and subscribe. If you got this far in the video – and I will see you in the next one –

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