Portrait photography is about capturing the essence of a person. The photo should, to put it loosely, capture who the person is. You are basically taking their face and putting it into a camera frame. As much as it looks easy, there are some rules that can make you better at portrait photography.
Get the Lighting Off the Camera
Lighting is what makes a good photo. Photography is summarised as using light to create an image. This means that where your light source is matters a lot. If it is too close to the camera, the photo will be devoid of shadows and you will end up with a very flat portrait. Move the camera away from the light source and you will marvel at the new features you will be introducing to your photo.
Try Black and White
In this age when everyone wants to scream in colour, try something different by taking the photo in black and white. The good thing about black and white photos is that it lets important features such as the facial structure to stand out. It also gives the face some kind of texture that is hard to replicate if you are using colour. If your camera has a black and white setting, use it when taking the photo, instead of depending on editing apps.
Direct Your Model
Not everyone who wants to take their portrait taken understands the elements of good photography. What makes a good photographer is the ability to guide the subject. Do not have them too close, or you will have a distorted portrait. Having them too far away will also miss out on some of the important features that you need to capture. Sometimes the difference is in one step away. It is you to tell them where they should be so that you get the best shot.
Go For Dull Clothing
A portrait is about the face. Not the dressing, and definitely not distracting jewellery. It explains why most studios have a black background to stop any kind of distraction. To capture good portrait photos, the subject should be in darker clothes that do not have patterns or shapes that will distract people. Other than the clothing, you should also look out for the background and get rid of any form of clutter that might take up the attention and makes everyone else focus on what is happening behind or around them.