Tag: professional photography

A Few Portrait Photography Tips You Will Want to Keep In Mind

portrait photographyThere are so many portrait photography tips online that you’ll probably be confused on which ones to remember the most and to absorb first. They can be anything to everything from simple tweaks that you can execute in your camera to tricks on how to keep children still for the taking of their portraits, to special filters that you can create on your own, and so on and so forth. It would be good to note though that there is a huge difference between portraits taken by amateurs and those taken by verified professionals like shooters who specialize in lifestyle photography. We wrote this article to attempt to tackle that and break it down for you. Take note of the most basic of tips to ensure that portrait photography works out for you.

Avoid the all too common risk of under exposed portraits

This is common when you are shooting subjects with a particularly light skin tone, those who are wearing a lot of white (like brides, for example), or even those who face the camera at a full face angle. The technical secret there is to make up for the washed out effect with Exposure Compensation. The only way for you to make this work would be if you should your subjects in Aperture Priority Mode. There are variations but they are all subjective and completely up to you but that is the basic mode for you to play around with if you would like to take great portraits.

Invest in a telephoto lens

This is actually sort of a no brainer. Telephoto lens is the best lens you can possibly get yourself for portrait photography. It enables you to frame and focus in on your subjects better. It is actually one of the most basic lenses that you should start out with and it is always considered a really wise alley to bank your money on if this is something that you’re doing professionally.

Invest in and make use of a reflector

This is probably one of the easiest ways for you to be able to come up with the most professional looking portrait photos. Try to go for reflectors with detachable covers so that you have the option to switch in between color tones. A good rule of thumb to remember would be that a gold reflector will be able to warm up your portrait photo. A silver reflector will brighten up the portrait photo almost instantly. And then a white reflector will sort of have a neutral effect but is still great when it comes to eliminating the shadows and balancing the light in the portrait photo.

Be wary of having too much sun especially when shooting outdoors

Too much light from the sun can wash out any photo and can cause extremely unflattering photos. This may sound odd but the perfect way to balance that out would actually be to use your flash. Technically speaking, this will balance out your exposure which translates into a much better portrait photo quality for you.

Why Choose RAW over JPEG?

raw versus jpegSo there’s this age old argument among photographers between choosing RAW over JPEG. As a professional photographer, you should know the differences. After all, this craft is your bread and butter and it really does pay to be in the know. So to start off, what does RAW and JPEG mean, exactly? Well, they’re basically file formats.

What is  RAW format?

RAW is the image format initially captured by the sensors when you shoot a photo. This means that all the elements and components are still there and are practically untouched. So if you are keen on the little details such as the lighting, the subtle focus and out of focus effects, feathering on the outline, among other things which really make a world of difference for the photos; then you should keep it RAW.

The issue with the JPEG format that professional photographers sort of detest is the fact that is it compressed and most of the information is either hidden or lost. If you shoot your pictures in the JPEG format, you might end up with sub-par quality photos that don’t necessarily capture the essence of the moments you wanted to immortalize.

What is a JPEG format?

Shooting in RAW means you get to glean all of the information you shoot and get them into the photo. This is a really big deal considering so many things are happening in a photo all at once. On top of that, you are guaranteed the highest quality of pictures, which is really a prerequisite if you are actually shooting professionally. It provides you the liberty of processing your pictures yourself, deciding on how they should be altered, instead of having the camera do it for you which is what happens when you shoot with a JPEG format.

Comparison between RAW and JPEG

You also get to play with more light or brightness options when you shoot in RAW. I’m not gonna delve into the math here but just to give you an idea, shooting RAW over JPEG gives you a minimum of 3,700 levels of brightness more. That changes the whole ball game especially when it comes to playing up the shadows, how the light hits your subjects, exposure, contrast, and so much more! You also get to avoid posterization, which refers to the hazy spectrum effect brought on by light, much more easily when you shoot in RAW because the photos are pretty much unprocessed on untouched.

It’s so easy to correct overexposed or underexposed images in RAW. Again, we go back to the fact that you have all the info intact so you can easily alter them and correct them without sacrificing the quality of the photo.

Your prints will also look so much better when you shoot in RAW. The resolution and the gradation are finer and more focused so they come out really good looking when put in print. Although we are in the digital age, you have to keep in mind that clients may still want their prints, for posterity.

Well, these basic reasons alone should already put you on the bandwagon rallying for the RAW format but overall, as you see, this is just the professional choice. Your clients pay a pretty penny for great and high quality pictures – and they deserve no less.